As I climb the steps, I’m thinking about what’s waiting for me. I open the door, feel the whoosh of cool air and step in. All the possibilities stretch out before me, lined up neatly on their shelves, inviting a look. Middle grade, YA, picture books, novels, cookbooks, new releases, raves & faves. I just love visiting the library!I have fond memories of hanging out in the basement-like children’s section of the Waverly Resource Library in Thunder Bay, skimming for the next Black Stallion adventure. Browsing the shelves with my firstborn at the Westmount branch in London, Ontario, finding out we loved Kevin Henkes’ Owen, Chrysanthemum and Lilly characters. Or all the storytimes and armloads of books (to feed my second daughter's obsession with Thomas the Tank Engine) we took home from the Lakeview and Mississauga Valley branches in Mississauga.
I wonder how many library books I’ve borrowed in my life time? I usually bring home more than 5, sometimes as many as 15.
Even now, I visit the library at least once a week. I’m always thrilled when I see one of my students (or former students) reading in the library, because sometimes I wonder what will happen to physical libraries with more and more books available on-line.Actually, downloading online books is one of the ways I use my public library. It’s pretty convenient to read a book on my iPad, into the late hours of the night, since I don’t have to keep a lamp on to disturb my husband.
But I also love physical books. They’re perfect for those moments when I have to wait for someone or to take out on the patio or deck and enjoy with a glass of lemonade. So I use my library to look up books (often recommended by other bloggers) and have them sent to my local branch for pick up. If I can’t find a book, I’ve also been known to contact the library to recommend it for purchase. And I always browse the “new titles” shelf, where I usually find another book or two that looks interesting to pop into my bag.
Anyway, if you’re bored with the kids this summer and it’s raining (it’s been doing a lot of that in my part of the world), think about checking out your local library. As teenagers, my own kids seem to think that going to the library is about as much fun as seeing the dentist, but I’m hoping that’s a phase they grow out of, and that one day they’ll be able to appreciate the library at least a little. And maybe they’ll even find one of my books there.Do you use your local library? How do you use it? What do you think will happen to libraries in the future?