I am late in writing this precisely because of the subject. I was so caught up in reading a checked out copy of Starship Troopers that I plain forgot to do this update. However, I can’t really complain since it’s given me the very subject I’m thankful for. 🙂
From the moment reading finally made sense to me (thanks Reading Rainbow!), I’ve been a pretty regular fixture at the local library regardless of where I lived. When I was a kid, I used to max out my limit of twenty checked out books and then use my mother’s card to get twenty more. Once I’d gotten them home, I’d finish them all well before the three week deadline and go right back in for forty more.
I would read everything I could get my hands on, from History, to Mythology, to Science and a plethora of other subjects. With the Library, it was like a whole other world had been opened up for me away from the bad neighborhood I lived in.
Probably my most sad moment involving the library directly was when some numbskull firebombed the old Pimlico branch 21 back during the riots. Why people in Baltimore were trying to riot, I couldn’t hazard a guess but the stupidity was compounded by trying to blow up one of the few things in the neighborhood dedicated to educational improvement.
Thankfully, the fire was restricted to a storeroom and the library was back in business a few weeks after until Schmoke closed the branch citing budget cuts. Talk about ‘the City that Reads’ when the next nearest branch is only accessible by bus or a ridiculously long walk for a child to make across several busy roads.
Once I was old enough, I switched to the County system even though I still lived in the City. At the time, they had a lot of services that the City didn’t acquire until years later. I was able to order books online, check when the holds came in, check out a variety of multimedia and all for free. It’s been nice since I got my library card in 2002 and I’ve really enjoyed going to the various local branches to attend classes, check out materials and utilize the internet resources available at each branch.
Plus now, with Interlibrary Loan, I can check materials out from any partnering library system (even Baltimore City) for a reasonable fee. You can’t beat that. 🙂
I’ve learned a lot from libraries and I’m really glad they exist.