For as long as I can remember, the library has been a magical and amazing place to me. In spite of the fact that I now live in the era of Google, it still is! Be it a physical book, an audiobook download, the loan of a cinematic classic or a modern blockbuster, or an obscure reference source: the library has it all.
From my early school days, when I could hardly wait to exchange one weeks book for the next new adventure; to the college years, wherein I was a virtual resident of “the stacks” at NCSU – I have been a lover of books. I cut my research teeth on the card catalogue, and fondly remember tracking down magazine articles with the aid of a Periodic Index. It may well be quicker to use the electronic alternative these days, but it never results in the same sense of “Gotcha!” provided by the search methods of yesteryear…
Then there is the plain and simple fact that one can only house so many books at home… I have read several entire series, of which I have never owned a single volume – I discovered them, and devoured them, (and often bemoaned the wait for the next installment) *shameless plug for the amazing Laurie R. King, here* as a result of a trip to the library.
There is something ‘church-like’ about time spent in a library, too. How can one help but be humbled in the presence of such a massive collection of knowledge? Further, I never cease to be amazed at the level of service to the community at large presented by the library (workshops, activities for children, teens, and adults, employment assistance, author readings, etc.) I am additionally jazzed by the fact that whatever “it” is doesn’t even have to be available at my branch for me to get it (!) Thanks to the NC Cardinal system, the shelves of my local branch extend to every border of the state – in the time it would take to receive an order made online, the information I seek can be summoned to my local library with the push of a button.
Finally, as an artist, I find that book sales at ANY library are grand adventures of discovery! Collage fodder abounds among piles and piles of obscure reference books, foreign texts (if you’re lucky), and a smattering of wildly disparate interests. Often, the covers themselves best the contents for beauty and uniqueness. You never know when you will fall in love with a new (to you) author. It was at a library book sale, years ago, that I first encountered the poetry of Billy Collins *swoon!* -- still a huge fan.
So, with my rhapsodic waxing complete, I hope that you are taking advantage of the incredible resource that is your local library. If it's been awhile since you visited, check it out *har, har, har!* -- the quicker the better -- wonders await you there.
See you here again, soon!