Walking the stacks in a library, dragging your fingers across the spines – it’s hard not to feel the presence of sleeping spirits.” Robin Sloan
My first real job, if you don’t count babysitting, was as a page at the Geneva Public Library in western New York. I was 17 and spent hours pushing a squeaking cart through the reference stacks, reshelving the returns I’d brought up from the main floor. I memorized the Dewey Decimal system, I sneaked in short reads when the floor was empty, I lovingly straightened the spines of all my bound buddies. I had always loved reading, even as a kid, and this job only solidified that love even deeper. It was my favorite job. I even got to branch out into other departments, inter-library loan, main desk circulation, book binding. I’m getting all excited just remembering all the awesome things I was able to do while working there! And from the very first day, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Librarians to me are the keepers of the flame of knowledge. When I was growing up, the librarian in my local library looked like a meek little old lady, but after you spent some time with her, you realized she was Athena with a sword, a wise and wonderful repository of wisdom.” Jane Stanton Hitchcock
The dream is still there, though I’ve had to take a few breaks (kids, amiright?), and I’m looking to head back to school in the near future to pursue that end. I can’t imagine spending too much time away, especially since that job shaped me in so many ways. One of the greatest things it gave me was the desire to write. I was reading and reading and the words went deep. Suddenly, they wanted out again, only they weren’t the same, they had changed and so had I. That’s the power of words. They have minds of their own. The author sends them out, you take them in, and then they leave you and each time they mean something else. They mean what you need them to mean. They are healers and helpers and enlighteners and you can find them all in the library.
Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better. Sidney Sheldon
My life was changed for the better from spending time at the library. How about you; any favorite library memories?