Have You Hugged Your Library Lately?

Libraries. That was my choice of topics, yet I don’t know where to stop or start.
I was always fascinated with books. I have no idea how many times I had my mother read “The Tawny, Scrawny Lion”,( among others), over and over. I guess she started taking me to the bookmobile when I was about three to save her sanity.

I devoured the books in the library of my elementary school in the next state. I moved into yet another town and found that the city library was teeming with everything that interested me, which was considerable. I remember that I read a great deal of Russian literature, all sorts of poetry and books on archaeology; (go figure). When I was even older, many libraries were accessible by car within short distances, as they were when I lived halfway across the country when my sons were young. That state had all of its libraries in one, combined system and I frequented the library at a local, nationally known private college. The Internet came in and I found that I could call up books that I had wanted to read for many years, although I sometimes could only read them in the library, they were so rare. And I could borrow videos! Long-lamented, half-seen movies and documentaries could be found or ordered in. I was in Heaven.

When I moved to where we now live, I was heartbroken at the lack of variety or availability at the local library. Fortunately, the town grew quickly and we now have a very nice library, remade in the old hospital building and staffed with more people of varied backgrounds. I still am at their mercy to search and order in a book that they do not have and it can drive a person crazy that they have one or a few books in a series, often with gaping holes in the middle. I will still borrow movies,(now DVD’s) , and an occasional series. I love trying out the foreign films that one patron donates. It’s hit and miss in enjoyability, but when we hit a good one…OH!

I am not from around here,(as the Locals keep reminding me), but there is an extensive Genealogy Department in our local library; many people use it seriously. There is a large collection of every genre available and the Adult Summer Reading Program Challenge this year had us delve into all of them.I was surprised that I could enjoy graphic novels…but not many of them!

I am wholly grateful that I have Internet access at home, but I used to use the computer banks at the library, as do many others; it is a blessing. One mixed blessing is the local branch’s on-going book sale. I find that I need to at least look at what is available.(Want to wager as to the percentage of times I leave those racks empty handed?)

I should have been a librarian. I helped in the one at a school where my husband taught and I spent many hours the local school here that my grandchildren have attended. I can’t tell you how many of the books there I have read. I no longer spend much time in the school libraries now, but I help with the bookfairs…and never walk out empty handed there, either. And the school library also sells discarded books!

You know, I should just admit it; I should just move into a public library…never mind. If you saw my house, you’d think you were in one anyway. My house has far too many books for anyone to believe it is from the efforts of one couple, and a few of book-collecting grandchildren. (Apparently, book-hoarding gene is not a recessive one.) Yet, we borrow from the library. I am there so often, some think I work there. So I say to those people, “You must be there as often, since you see me so much.”
I guess I am not the only persistent patron, a library lover, if you will.

Have you hugged your library lately?


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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10 Responses to Have You Hugged Your Library Lately?

  1. Micki Gibson says:

    These days, I love to visit my local library to get some writing done. During the summer, my kids love to play in the park that’s adjacent to the library. Plus, it’s convenient to meeting up with one of my other writer friend’s home.


  2. jeff7salter says:

    Public libraries — when properly funded, well-managed, adequately staffed, and with appropriate facilities — can be the CENTER of the cultural, educational, and social aspects of a community. Sadly, too many library systems lack one or more of those criteria and begin an unfortunate spiral into irrelevance. But the good news is: most libraries and staff are trying really hard with whatever resources they have … and many patrons (customers) are helping raise awareness of library needs by the kinds of materials and services they request. In a healthy partnership between library, customer, and governmental entity, those needs will be addressed.


    • Well,Jeff, they get a lot of financial support from me via the book sales! Seriously,I have done everything I can to support the local library and the ones in the schools. There is more and more going on in the local library here. There is not only the genealogy club, but quilters and crafters, young adult groups, reading programs for little ones, a family reading program, foreign film screenings and some local author talks.It is good to see more and more people interested IN more and more.The next town over has “Appetizer with Authors” where local authors go in to talk about their works while everyone eats finger food…I hope not in the library itself; my school librarians would be appalled!


  3. pjharjo says:

    Can’t say as I have hugged a library lately, Tonette. 🙂 But I enjoyed your post and reminder of everything that is available there! The most recent brick and mortar libraries I have used have been the college and university libraries where I went to school. since then it’s been the Internet where I can find ANYTHING and the information I seek won’t be unavailable to me! So, you admit you and yours are book hoarders? Think you’ll be in need of an intervention sometime in the future? LOL!


    • yes, I guess we would be called hoarders.Personally,I consider myself a “book rescuer”. Libraries keep taking books off the shelves to make room for new ones, and unread classics get ditched.I have many poetry books that would otherwise be trashed., plus children’s classics and others; it is a shame that no one reads them.
      Not all books are available online,Janette.Take a peek into your local library sometime!


  4. Iris B says:

    Not sure why, but while reading your post, the picture of mum and ALL her books came to mind. Honestly, books galore in her small apartment!
    I remember having to read a book in Year 9 or 10 – mum, of course, knew it, and I felt so petrified reading a book mum knew, such an old-fashioned book. We did a test on it on a Monday and I had to spend all of Sunday reading this masterpiece. Suffice it to say I loved it, in fact one of my favourite books of all time …. Theodore Fontane “Effie Briest” … You Librarians might have heard about it.
    Anyway … mum had, or I’d better say has, a library at her place! Yes, I’ve hugged Her many times 😉


    • I had to look up”Effie Briest”,Iris; it would have tortured me for a week!
      I read the synopsis; it never ceases to amaze me that the schools, especially the past generations when certain morals and behavior were expected, that they had the kids read this, “The Scarlet Letter”, “Ethan Frome”, “Tess of D’Urbervilles”, etc. What were they thiking???


  5. Fantastic turn,Iris! We had a number of books, as well.I had a personal stack at my aunt’s, as she did not want me to get stuck on a few books like I was at my place, although it did not work! I still had her read them all and a book called “Jenny Wren”, many many times.Finally, she sent the stack of books to my mother, so that she could read them to me and she would not have to read “Jenny Wren” again!
    [I doubt seriously that the librarians here have heard of “Effie Briest”, although I know I have seen that title written. We have mainly ‘library workers’ who they call “Librarians” here. Perhaps the director, who is an older woman who is also a “Brought-In” might have heard of it.
    Glad your mum is still around to hug!


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