Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reading is fundamental

by Chasya

I spent a lot of my youth at the Brooklyn Public Library—every Friday afternoon, in fact. The thrill of going to the library with my mom and picking out as many books as I wanted (for free!) was one of the highlights of my week. I’d walk around with my little brother and doggedly search the shelves, working to build up enough books to earn my free RIF book with the Berenstain Bear sticker on the inside cover.  Today is Library Advocacy Day, which will replace National Library Legislative Day this year because of the terrible state many of our libraries our in. With budget cuts being issued nationwide, many of our beloved libraries have been or are in danger of being shut down.

So today, in honor of our libraries and librarians, I welcome you all to share some of your fond library memories. If you’d like to find ways to help, you can visit the ALA website.

12 comments:

  1. In honor of Library Advocacy Day, I'm pasting a link to my blog entry for Sunday, June 6, entitled "Hot Bookish Summers": http://writersharonkirkclifton.blogspot.com/

    Read on!
    Sharon Kirk Clifton

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  2. I can still remember looking for my mother's teased helmet hair(it's still her style today, I kid you not)over the stacks at the public library. She'd get lost in browsing and be gone for a long time while I read in the kids' section. I'd finish a book and then panic because she'd be gone. When I'd find her, she'd peer through her cat-eyed glasses at me and tell me to go read another book until she finished.

    There is a distinct smell that only library books have, and each time I borrow a book from the library and inhale its aroma, the image of my mom comes to mind. Now, it's me (minus the teased helmet) who gets lost in browsing books. I hope that I've passed on the love for reading to my kids and nieces who have to search for me when I get lost within the library stacks.

    I couldn't imagine how it would be to not have libraries to go to. I think many parents are doing an injustice to their children by not encouraging them to read. Libraries have great programs as well. Save the libraries, people!


    "The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,

    And all the sweet serenity of books."

    ~ from Morituri salutamus by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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  3. Living in Ontario, Canada, we vacationed with family in a small rural town where I would frequent the tiny library. Although it wasn't much, I remember with vivid adoration the quiet, peaceful moments spent there amidst the musty smell and yellow paperbacks.

    My favorite books as a kid were what we called the 'Which Way?' books. You read a bit and then got to decide which way the story would go. I found my first 'Which Way?' book at that library. There was only one other in the series there, but I read them over and over and over again. So, I say thank-you to that small, dusty library for helping me choose 'Which Way?' each and every time.

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  4. I remember checking out the same book over and over, so it was like I owned it. Is that cheating?

    I just formed a fond memory with my kids at the library yesterday. My six-year-old daughter picked her books: fairies, crystals and gems, and butterflies. My three-year-old son picked his: Spiders and dinosaur poop (no really, it's called Jurassic Poop.)

    I did not help at all.

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  5. As a library worker, I thank you for posting this. We're facing some tough times and need all the support we can get! I blogged about this on my blog today as well, although much of the information is the same as yours.

    Thanks!

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  6. When I discovered that I could check out as many Nancy Drew books as I could carry, I thought I had DIED and gone to heaven.

    However, when my mother realized I was pretending to be sick so I could stay home and read them, she almost sent me there herself.

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  7. I did what Liesl did: after reading books I really loved, I returned them, then went back to them in the stacks on subsequent trips. I seldom reread the entire book, I was just aware of where it was and viewed it as my own. A few times I saw other people checking MY books out, which left me with such mixed emotions.

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  8. I remember the Dallas Public Library's excellent summer reading program that rewarded tickets to shows at the library. They probably had other prizes too, but I distinctly remember going to see a marionette show of Saint Saens' Carnival of the Animals. I also remember climbing on one of the abstract sculptures in front of one of the Dallas branch libraries. Summer time in Denver always required frequent visits to the library to get books, dvds and airconditioning for the afternoon. My brothers and I would go in wearing slightly damp swimming suits with tshirts/shorts thrown on top and a towel around our neck. The librarians never gave us a hard time about possible water damage.

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  9. N. Clifford Henderson30/6/10 9:10 AM

    I fell n love with reading at a very early age. My older sister would read to me, often from the Childcraft books, and I remember thinking that this was magical. I could not learn to read quickly enough. Then, the summer I turned six, we went to Florida for the first summer. My Dad started his PhD. program at Florida State that summer. We lived in tents outside Tallahassee for five of the next seven summers. Early in that time, I discovered the FSU Library. I would go into the university with Dad and, while he was working, I would go over to the library. The fiction section was in the basement, which was the coolest area, important to a boy living in Florida without air conditioning. I would lie on the linoleum floor, among the stacks, for most of the day, reading Jules Verne, Zane Grey, and many others. I would often be there for as much as six hours. It was a delightful time and they are marvelous memories. I am convinced that I have spent more time in the Florida State University Library than probably 90% of the students who have ever attended the university.

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  10. One of my favorite library moments was when I crossed over from the Juvenile section to Adult. I still remember the first non-Juv books I checked out -- My Career Goes Bung, by Elspeth Huxley, and a recommendation from my big brother, Catch Me If You Can (at the time -- the late 80s -- I thought it would make a great movie).

    My friends were all very impressed with my grown-up-ness, and one of them said her mom did not allow her to go to "that side" of the library!

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  11. One of my best childhood memories is going to the library with my father. He would gather up my brothers and sisters and we would drive to the nearest library. I'm sure now that my mother looked forward to those times as much as we did. Alone in the house without five children underfoot must have been a wonderful reprieve for her as well.

    The love that my father had for books was passed on to each one of us. With our own library cards in hand, we would each hand over the books we carefully selected and preciously carry them home to spend hours in our rooms reading.

    To this day, I am never without a book in hand, nor can I go into a bookstore without buying at least one book. A pity that I don't ever think of going to the library any longer, but it's probably because I've built my own library of several thousands of books and I love to sit in my easy chair and read.

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  12. My wife is a librarian and kindergarten teacher and she loves it... She often tells me how rewarding it is seeing many of the children in her class develop reading skills over the course of the year and reach new milestones.

    My Growing City

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