Monday, April 12, 2010

Happiness is the Public Library

I love libraries. I always have. The musty smell, the hushed whispers, and most of all the shelves and shelves of books.

When we were little my mom used to take us to this amazing library that had once been an old mansion. I remember running through the atrium, the sunlight streaming through lead glass windows and exploring individual rooms with gigantic arm chairs and stacks of books. The old wood floors would creak beneath our feet, the paint would chip from the walls in certain places, but it was magical.

And now it's my turn. I take my kids to that same library, praying they'll see the magic in those walls. I want to believe that the love of reading is somehow contagious and if we go often enough, they'll catch it.

For me libraries represent possibilities, dreams. A place to lose yourself when you need to get lost. What do libraries mean to you?

In honor of Library Appreciation Day we'll donate one book to our local library for every comment we get on this post. To read how others are celebrating Library Appreciation check out the full list of participating bloggers at Market My Words.

P.S.
Ms. BookSniper has answered our question on her blog. It's hilarious AND informative. How do you not love a gal who manages to work Jessie Spano into a post about book marketing and publicity? And the girl crush rages on.

75 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love the library, too, as do my kids. Good thing the library has a 99 book limit. Between myself (and all my research) and three kids, there's been a few times we've almost reached the limit. Of course they were mostly picture books.

And if my library doesn't yet have the YA books I want (usually the ones you two recommend), I rush out to the booktore and buy them instead. Yeah, I can be a tad bit impatient for the library to order some books.

Great post!

Rachele Alpine said...

We've put an offer on a house that is about a block away from the library. That was one of the things I wanted in a house...something within walking distance to the library. I love libraries (and used to work at one in highschool, although most of the time I hid in the shelves and read books instead of reshelving them!).

Candyland said...

I actually was never taken to the library as a child:(
I try to make up for it now, with my daughter.

Tamika: said...

I adore the library. The still quiet that covers me while I escape with a cast of characters is intoxicating.

My kids don't appreciate the same quiet yet, but I'm working on it.

I didn't know it was library appreciation month- awesome!

Christine Danek said...

We have a library that is really old and charming too. My kids are not up to the quiet that the librarians are hoping for so we don't get there as much as I like.
Hopefully soon-- when my little man is bigger. He is trouble with a capital T right now.
Thanks gals!

Cynthia Watson said...

There are three places on earth where I feel safe: Home, Church & The Library.

Sanctuary!

Sheri Larsenッ said...

I've actually participated in Shelli's efforts to appreciate libraries. Spotlighting them is an awesome thing! Sometimes today, with all the technology around, we forget how precious libraries are.

Ms. Book Sniper said...

Wow...how can I not comment when I know a library will get a free book out of it?

Thanks for the second shout-out, Lisa and Laura! What you're doing for your local library is wonderful.

Matthew Rush said...

Great post and great idea, donating a book per comment. Not only is that a wonderfully good deed, but maybe it will get some of the people who generally only read to finally start commenting.

Anyway as to Libraries: I love em. As a novice writer and voracious reader how could I not?

One thing though - I grew up in cities, always living close enough to the big downtown library to be able to visit it. Now that I'm grown and own my own home I live - well let's just call it the sub-suburbs. Our local library is a bit sad in comparison.

Of course a bit sad is still better than nothing. And why complain about it when I could DO something about it? Thanks for the inspiration Lisa and Laura, I'm going to go donate some books to my local library!

confused homemaker said...

I love the library. We are now that family that leaves with arms full of books & we've gotta lot of arms.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

The Library is GREAT....you can see imagination coming to life! Mine has kids programs that integrate books, learning, and crafts! Thanks for donating a book!

Solvang Sherrie said...

I could spend all day at the library. I've volunteered there, spent a lot of time with my kids there. We just love books in all their forms, the stories waiting to be discovered.

I love that you guys are celebrating this week by donating books. Very cool.

Jen said...

What an amazing and generous idea! Libraries are wonderful and I'm certainly a fan of getting lost in a library I love picturing myself lost in a sea of imagination. The possibilities truly are endless!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Great post. I love the library. Don't get to go as often as I'd like though. However, each time I walk in I remember all the smells and feelings from the first time my mum took me when I was little. Now I hope I can pass that love of books/libraries on to my goddaughter.
I'm glad my comment means your local library will get a book:)

Christine Fonseca said...

Love this idea! And LOVE LOVE LOVE my local libraries.

Loretta Nyhan said...

Beautiful post. I can totally picture that library! I'm jealous, as our local branch looked like something designed by grumpy Soviets. I loved it, though, and I loved the librarians, too.

Amy Jo Lavin said...

Any time I move to a new city, I seek out the public library first. I can't live without libraries, especially since I read more books than I can possibly afford to buy. The library system in my county is awesome: they're all interconnected, so if one library doesn't have the book I want in stock, they'll transfer it from another library.

Liza said...

Sadly, on Library Appreciation Day, the headlines in the major daily this morning announce the closing of four library branches in our city due to budget concerns.

Little Ms J said...

I want a tour of the mansion turned library when I'm in Cleveland! My favorite library was the one at my elementary school. That is where I was introduced to books, the Dewey Decimal system, Lyle the Crocodile, Amelia Bedelia and Nancy Drew. It was a portable building with seams through the floor, but little cardboard bookworms hung from the ceiling.

Loved it.

mountie9 said...

Great job guys, thanks for donating to your local library. I loved libraries so much as a child I grew up to be a Librarian (Library Tech for those who care or know the difference) Even on my days off (I work in a College Library) I almost always end up dropping by our local public library ; )

Heidi Willis said...

I am so jealous of Rachele!! To be able to WALK to a library??? Oh joy of joys!!

I practically grew up in a library. I spent hours in one after school most days waiting for my mom to get off work. I wrote my first book there in a quiet room several years ago. It was the only place in the world where it was quiet for me at the time (I had three kids under the age of 5).

I take my kids there, and they love it as well. Ours isn't that magical...it's newer and plain; but still full of books. I want to go to yours one day!

Simon C. Larter said...

A Sonnet

I love libraries' possibilities.
The rows on rows of books expand your mind.
A child walks in, the first thing that he sees
Is fun in book form--just the bestest kind.

Sometimes I'm sad when walking into one--
So many books, so very little time...
I'll read one, and as soon as I am done,
I'll crack another as I sip my wine.

I think, if I'm cremated, I'd prefer
to have my ashes scattered over books.
This job I'll give my wife, yes, though at her
the lib'ry patrons might cast funny looks.

So now, my friends, support your library.
And please don't mind the dust. Yeah. That's just me.

Dara said...

I love libraries. I'm blessed to live less than a mile away from one and I walk there often.

Lisa Desrochers said...

Libraries ARE magical. I remember, as a kid, feeling like the books acutally came alive during story time.

It will be even more magical when we can go and pluck books with OUR names on the spines off the shelves, yeah? =)

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

The library has *always* been my second home. :-)

COOL post, too, from the Book Sniper. ;-)

storyqueen said...

I love the hush of libraries, too. It's like they are holy places.

Probably because they are.

Shelley

Amie McCracken said...

Wish I could see that old library. Ours was always warehouse-ish and boring...but it had books. Great idea, to donate books.

Kristi Helvig said...

I love libraries too and take my kids there all the time. I love being in the presence of so many books, and hope paper books don't die out as a result of e-readers. It wouldn't be the same taking my kids to my laptop to order books online!

Natasha A. said...

Thank you! On behalf of library workers everywhere! The library is my career, my job, my happiness. My dream is to work in a public library and know all of our patrons. Right now I am in an academic, still love it though :D

Talli Roland said...

I love libraries! One of my best memories as a child is going to the library, picking out loads of books, then curling up at home to read. Bliss!

Conda V. Douglas said...

The truly tiny library in the truly tiny town (300 residents when we moved in) I grew up in is a good part of the reason I became a writer. Thank you for your donations! It reminded me to go through my bookshelves and do the same.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Libraries are a place to sit in awe, surrounded by books and their wonderful smell. My favorite thing is when my kids BEG me to take them to the library.

Icy Roses said...

Libraries are the greatest places ever. A place to dream. I'm transported just going into one. How do they all smell so amazing?

Tara said...

Great post Lisa & Laura!

Mia said...

Oh the library, how I wish I could move into one. How I wish my local library (or the one near work) was better stocked so I can stop constantly ordering books from other branches.

Lisa_Gibson said...

I love our library too! My kiddo and I are there at least once a week. It's my little literary candy store. Yay!

Laura Marcella said...

I love libraries and appreciate all librarians everywhere! I could spend hours (days, if libraries never closed) among those beautiful shelves of books. My to-read library list just grows and grows!

Stephanie Thornton said...

I love taking my daughter to the library and donating to the library is just as wonderful. It's like Mecca for book lovers!

Sarah said...

Libraries really are magical. If this doesn't tell you how much of a geek I am...I used to hide from my friends at lunch in my school library, just so I could finish the Famous Five book I was reading.

I love that you're donating books for every comment. Do you get sick of hearing how much you rock??

Sarah said...
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Sarah said...
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Sarah said...
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Sarah said...

Omg, I'm so sorry. My computer froze and I hit send like 5 times. *blushes*

Simon C. Larter said...

Sarah's trying to get you to donate more books to the library. Deleted comments still count toward the book-donation total, methinks. Yup.

;)

Marsha Sigman said...

I LOVE the library, always have. I grew up in a very small town and at that time our local library was a tiny, one room building.
I actually read the entire library in my town.

Krispy said...

That sounds like an awesome library! My local library is not as unique-looking, but it's still an awesome place. I have lots of fond memories associated with it.

Some of the most beautiful places on campus at my university were in the libraries. Definitely miss wandering through there.

Donna Gambale said...

I love love love libraries, and it's wonderful when you find an amazing local one! What a great way to celebrate, ladies!

E. Elle said...

I love libraries but I live in a small town, so the local libraries have equally small selections. I end up utilizing interlibrary loan on a regular basis. (That's coolio, though, because I worked in the ILL department in college. Loves it.)

I wish, though, that there were more kids in the library when I'm there, just so I'd see them actually using their minds with books.

K. M. Walton said...

I used to LOVE my local library growing up and went there almost every weekend. Now, my favorite place on planet Earth is the bookstore. Maybe I should re-think my favorite place...my wallet would surely approve!

Piedmont Writer said...

My mother was a librarian so I grew up in them. I hate that so many of the 'old' ones are gone, replaced by brick and mortar, air conditioning and computers. I loved the card catalog and the old lumpy chairs you could sit in by the open window. And the little old lady librarian who'd make you wipe your squeaky sneakers before stepping on the wood floors.

Thanks for the memories.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

A few years ago I had a late fee. And no money to pay it. I haven't been back. I'm too scared it's multiplied exponentially and I owe millions (it probably would be $10).

Cheree said...

I love libraries. They're great places to go where there's always great atmosphere and little to no distractions (apart from all those books) to keep me from doing work.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

love the book donation idea - hope you have over 50 books :) Thanks for participating!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

I'm with you--I LOVED the library as a kid. We didn't have a fancy, cool one like that, but still. I grew up broke--so the library was the coolest place ever because I could go in, pick anything I wanted, and actually get to take it home. Sure--I had to give it back (which sometimes KILLED me) but it was still the greatest thrill in the world being able to pick something new, and enjoy it. I was devastated when we moved to a new town and they didn't have a real library (just one room of books in a strip mall.) My parents used to drive us over 45 minutes to take us to a better library so we could still have our books.

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, that sounds like such an amazing library. I too, love the library. My kids do too, it's like a trip to get ice cream or something.

:)

Jill Kemerer said...

I go to the library WAY too often. You can't get me out of that joint. I get sucked into the non-fiction section and you might as well count me out until closing.

Larissa said...

Aw, yay for you, donating books! :)

My dream is to someday have the library from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Amy said...

Whoo, ladies, this is a lot of books you're donating! What a great idea.

My local library was my favorite place to hang out as a kid and --not surprisingly, I guess--- my local library is still one of my favorite places. W00t! for libraries!

Jemi Fraser said...

What a great idea!! Libraries are such incredible places - I spent so many happy hours there!! :)

Mariah Irvin said...

As a college student, I spend a lot of time in the library. It still hasn't lost its magic, though.

Yay for donating so many books!

Dork Vader said...

Woah, that's a lot of books. I'm coming out of lurkerdome to help out one of my favorite places today. Libraries rock!
That's freaking awesome to donate books. Love you guys :D

Dork Vader said...
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Alissa said...

I love libraries, and I am not just saying that because my day job involves selling books to libraries. Librarians really are some of the nicest people out there!

Karen Akins said...

I love libraries! They're very relaxing. Ours has nice ducks and mean geese outside, so you have to do a bit of poop-navigating to get safely inside. But so worth it.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

This reminds me so much of my library as a kid. It was also an old mansion with so much character. We had a giant tub in the children's department that they'd fitted with a bunch of cushions and rugs and a giant fake lion head on one end for kids to sit in and read. It was horribly uncomfortable, but I used to sit in that godawful thing for hours squirming and reading. But it was a lion head bathtub. Who wouldn't?

I love what you guys are doing. I used to work at a library and money was always short. Donated books were precious.

Kim said...

The library will always remind me of my mother. I remember her taking me to the library as a kid too. And, she still goes faithfully to this day devouring book after book.

Do you remember old-fashioned card catalogs??! Pulling out those old drawers and flipping through each card? Or ACTUAL cards in the back of the book to check the book out?!??

Or are you two too young for that?

SWUBIRD said...

I am also a library nut and, when I'm not in the library, I'm in the bookstores. I was even that way as a kid. When I had my own kids I took them to the library after school, and on the weekends we hit the bookstores, both new and used. As a result, my children are now huge book fans. My daughter even got her masters in library science.

Happy trails.

Lori W. said...

That's a lot of books you'll be donating! Wonderful!

We love our library. We've been going since my children were babies and not a week goes by that one of them doesn't ask, "Can we go to the library today?" For long drives, the audio books are a Godsend and now that everyone is reading, a trip to the library guarantees a quiet house for hours.

Myrna Foster said...

We love our local librarians. They know our names and what kinds of books we like. They're not afraid to make recommendations. My kids all love going to the library, and they hate leaving.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

When I was little, there was nothing more exciting then visiting the library - even though the building was fairly new, (or at least not old enough to be cool) smelly, and over-crowded, since it was a one city library that actually had to provide for 2 cities, as well as multiple out-of-city districts. But I'll always remember their reading contests, how if I marked the shiny paper with a pen deeply enough, it would look like a marker, and how the competition aspect made me love reading all the more. I'm very competitive. One time, our library had a sleep over, that was amazing! There were lots of kids there, and games, and they took a seperate room for movies, and pizzas, and then we all got in our sleeping bags with a good book and read until lights out.
That was fun. It should happen every day. :D

lfg said...

I worked in one of my University's libraries when I was in college. I loved being in the tall stacks of books reshelving. I also have a BA in history and spent endless hours in the Wisconsin Historical Society Library doing "research" or just being lost. The Marble floors, dark staircases and smell of the books was one of my happy places.

sanjeet said...

There are three places on earth where I feel safe: Home, Church & The Library.
free classified india

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

I wish we had an old vintage library around here.... Don't get me wrong.... I love our new libraries with all new books.... But there is something that's more fun about the older libraries....

Jackee said...

Comment! Or am I too late? Darn.

I love my library and the Youth Services librarians. Like today, we had a very long and deep conversation about which chocolate is the best. Godiva won with them. I stuck to my Lindt guns. :o)

Melissa Sarno said...

Woohoo! Donate another book!
I also love libraries, they make me very happy and I have fond memories of them. :-)

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