Where would you be without your library?

21 Mar

I, for one, am indebted to my public library system. I was always going to events at the library as a kid–I took classes in comic book drawing, I went to readings, I did arts and crafts. I played in their playroom that was also the kid’s books room, strewn with books and toys and babies. Some of the first books I read came from the library too, covered in those heavy plastic dust jacket wrappers, crinkly and smelling like the library itself. In the summertime I’d participate in their program where the more books you read, the more little rewards you would get.

As I got older, I left the kid’s section and moved to the young adult section, where I routinely read up to 50 books a year (oh yes, I kept track too), and from there on to the adult section.

I used to go every week with my dad, a tradition in my family that, whenever I’m home, still holds up. We still go together. It means a lot to me. Libraries mean a lot to me. And as time  and technology move onwards, I can’t help but wonder what will happen to these wonderful local institutions. I have a hard time believing they’ll go anywhere, but it worries me nonetheless.

The tiny town of Shutesbury, MA (population 1,800) has a very tiny library in need of a ton of restoration. They made this viral video recently to try to raise money. If they can raise 40% of the funds necessary to properly renovate ($1.4 million), the state will match them with the rest of the 60%. Look at the adorable video they’ve made. This little town that loves to read has warmed my heart as they ask us “What would you be without your library?”

Tell me your library stories in the comments. What are you first memories in a library? Do you remember what your library meant to your town? What does it mean to you now?

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