I've written about it before, but I think it's worth repeating: I love libraries. I remember as a very small child, my dad took me to the local library to get my first library card. I was ecstatic. I loved the idea of having access to so many different new stories and worlds. I remember choosing The Secret Garden and Black Beauty and Alice in Wonderland from the library, and loving them so much I begged my dad to buy me my own actual copies. I've had a library card every single day since then and each card has been well-used and well-loved.
I love books and libraries and especially librarians. I've had some good ones growing up. I remember one of the middle schools I attended tried to encourage 'jobs' for the children, and I signed up as a library assistant and worked quite closely with the librarian there in order to think of different events and things to do for the library to be more of a welcoming and interesting place.
I worked with my high school librarian as well. She gave the most wonderful recommendations. Through her recommendations, I was introduced to two of my favourite authors: Jane Austen and Isabel Allende. But what's better, is that she listened to my recommendations as well. And based on the books I was picking up to read, she ordered in other books on self-harm, female genital mutilation and human rights!
I was never the most popular girl in school. In fact, I was picked on in many different schools I attended. When I left high school completely and started taking classes with a local community college, I started to feel a bit anxious and started having panic attacks quite badly. I had no concept of seeing a medical professional to treat these panic attacks (it never occurred to me) so I did the only thing I could think of, which was to head to the place I felt most comfortable in the entire world - the library. For me, there's just something very soothing about the library. Being within the library allowed me to breathe again.
As I'm now an adult with two small children, I love the library in a different way. It's no longer the place I go for recommendations for myself, but for my boys. I've had the librarians there help me to find books about King Arthur and Atlantis for E. I love how friendly and helpful everyone is there. E recently won a competition the library was holding and won a wonderful goody bag filled with stickers and activity sheets. Every time my boys and I go to the library, we come home with new books and smiles on our faces.
I was recently lurking on Twitter and 'overheard' a conversation between two people about libraries. One was saying that their family had a Library Night in which they went to the library in the evening when the library was open later. I read that and thought how brilliant is that? I love sharing the love of libraries and books with my children and I think Library Night is just the thing we should adopt.
Do you love libraries? Are they your happy place like they are for me?