02 May My Love Affair with Libraries
What better time to celebrate libraries than Children’s Book Week?
I love libraries. I love the luxury of endless shelves of books just waiting for me to discover them. I love the quiet—it’s a place not just for reading but for thinking, too. I love that libraries smell like books. Maybe it’s the paper, maybe it’s the decades of hands on books, maybe it’s the smell of contentment from the myriad book lovers who have passed through the doors that day. I love that libraries have technology, which has certainly saved me more than once when my own computer or printer or internet has crashed.
My earliest library memories are of our small-town library, which shared the space with the city hall and the fire department. Our trips there were always a treat, but the possibility of the fire siren howling followed by the roar of the fire engine added excitement to every trip. My current kitchen is probably larger than the space with book shelves, but it didn’t matter. Every trip there expanded my world.
Fast forward a few years to the sanctuary of my elementary school library. Every chance I got, I’d ask for a pass to the library—this one larger and far more modern—to check out a book. I devoured every new mystery (big surprise, right?), of which there were never enough. My worst memory was of a day the librarian motioned me over to tell me a secret. I hoped the secret was that a whole box of mysteries had just been delivered. Instead, she whispered that they weren’t going to allow children in the library during the school day outside of the library period. I left in tears.
I still don’t know what the rationale was for that decision. Even though I’m sure kids abused the privilege by some serious dawdling, what better place to dawdle?
My parents were readers. My mom always had a book going and even with our regular trips to the library, she never said no when I asked to buy a book. We were lucky because we could afford to buy books. Not every child is so fortunate, which means that libraries become the great leveler. Every child who has access to a school or public library has access to the world, to the past and the future, to possibilities.
It’s quite the treat these days to see that Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures are showing up on library shelves and to know that we’re giving kids more ways to expand their worlds. Even better? In May, Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures will all be available in hardback, the staple of every library. So pass on the word to your favorite librarian about Pack-n-Go Girls. And while you’re at it, give that librarian a hug!