It’s National Library Week!
I have been a fan of libraries since my elementary school days, when I would often go to my local library after school. The library was just a few steps away, located directly across the street from the school. I’d spend an hour or two there with my siblings or a friend, doing my homework or doing research for a special assignment such as the annual science fair. The facility was a small, one-story building, with the children’s section to the left of the entrance and the adult fiction and non-fiction sections to the right, along with the tables where we sat and did our work. It was a cozy space and I loved it. Our library is now located in a beautiful, three-story building; I have as much affection for it as I had for its predecessor.
When I entered high school, the library there became my new hangout. When everyone else went to the cafeteria to gossip and goof around, my friends and I headed to the second- floor room to do our school work and, yeah, sometimes gossip. But we never goofed around. Librarian Sister Regina would never allow it.
In my college years, I enjoyed frequent visits to the building sports fans know as Touchdown Jesus. I liked to go there on Friday nights-just for an hour or two because there was fun to be had, too-and do research on my term papers. There would not be too many people there, I’d have my pick of the copy machines, and the view of the Golden Dome was awesome.
In my mind, the library holds all the answers and I have spent many happy hours riffling through books to find those answers. Even in this age of the Internet, when information is accessible with just a few key words entered in Google or Yahoo, I still turn to my library for the facts of whatever I want to know. Sure, I also do research on the Internet, but a well-written book still holds all the keys to meet my information needs.
Libraries offer much more in addition to the free access to books, music, and movies they provide. My home library offers tax preparation for senior citizens at no charge, holds lectures, hosts story time and other programs for children, and presents exhibits of the creative works of students and local residents. It is a wonderful place staffed by professional, friendly, and knowledgeable men and women.
I’m sure your local library holds many treasures. Why not stop by this week and see what you find?
I wish a Happy Passover to all those celebrating this special festival.