My parents read the newspaper every day. Magazines were a regular part of our lives. I always used my missalette at mass. We were readers but we didn't have many books at our house: the idea of a library was something that was distant and special.
My first memory of a library was when I was in elementary school: a visit before they painted or varnished the wood. I remember wandering in the library and taking a deep breath. I inhaled the scent of wood that was freshly cut. The library was as new to the school as the idea of a library was to me. I instantly loved the library.
Then I had the misfortune of going to a library where the staff had low expectations of the people in the community they served - or at least of me. I was interested in checking out a book on astronomy and I wasn't permitted to do so - I was in the 4th grade and wanted to look at a 9th grade book. My vista was limited by that person.
Yesterday Rosalie Jacquez of La Pintoresca shared an interesting thought. The library isn't about the books, it's about the people. It's about accomplishments, travails, and dreams. We're lucky that we can enjoy our four star libraries where the expectations are set by the patrons and encouraged by our Four Star librarians.
La Pintoresca Branch Library on Flickr.