In celebration of National Library Week, April 10-16, 2011, we've asked everyone in our community to write their stories about libraries and books. Read all the stories.
If you would like to write your own story, see the Create Your Own Story form for more information.
In the summer of 1973, I turned 12. It was a summer of many achievements. I had completed elementary school and would enter Middle school in the fall. I made the local softball allstar team. I passed my deep water swim test and could use the diving board at my local pool. All of these events left a lasting impression on me, but the one that has influenced me throughout my life was that I got my first library card.
I have always loved sports, the outdoors, and was the kid on the block out long past the time the street lights went on. I was also a lover of books! An avid reader, one of my favorite places to go was the library. The city I lived in had only one library and it was on the opposite side of town from where I lived.
My 12th summer they opened a branch that was in walking distance of our subdivision. I begged my mom to let me walk there alone, and despite having to cross one fairly busy road, she agreed.
That summer I rose early each day and spent my mornings at the library. They had created a wonderful section for kids my age. It was filled with bean bag chairs, colorful rugs, beaded curtains and little nooks specifically made for cozy reading.
I remember being really into a series of fiction books based on real life famous people, written from the perspective of their life as a child. For instance, one portrayed the life of Daniel Boone as a child, while another told the story of a famous basketball player. I remember the books being very plain, muted colors of green, orange or red, without artistic jackets. It wasn't the look that appealed to me but the story inside.
I spent many quiet summer mornings reading in that library, developing my life long love of reading.
It might be hard to imagine loving a place, but I loved many. The barn on a warm summer day, the woods on a cool autumn night, the gym where I played basketball, and the library!
I can still feel the coolness of the airconditioning, our home didn't have any! I can close my eyes and imagine the smell of the books, the quiet whispers of the patrons as they asked questions of the library staff. Spending time there I felt comfortable and developed a love for the library.
Many of my summer afternoons were spent riding bikes with neighbors, swimming at the city pool, playing league softball or shooting hoops at the local YMCA, but my summer mornings were always happiest spent in the library.
April 6, 2011
Monroe County Public Library, Monroe County, Indiana ° (812)349-3050
Updated: September 2 , 2014 ° http://www.monroe.lib.in.us/cgi-bin/yourstory