The library in my hometown is one of the few buildings that I can remember clearly – it was a stand-alone building next to the fish ‘n’ chip shop where we would often get dinner on Friday nights. As a child, I remember it being large, dark, and a little foreboding. I think this was mainly from the silence that hung in the air as soon as you walked through the front door. The silence almost seemed like a character and force of its own. Despite this, I still remember the pride and excitement at getting my very first library card – it was on white cardboard.
Libraries have changed a great deal since that time. Architects are opening spaces and maximizing light, and instead of being information gatekeepers, librarians have become “guides at your side,” helping people find information and enjoyable recreational reading. What hasn’t changed is the joy on children’s faces when they get their first library card. After they have signed their name, the card is often picked up and held high to show their siblings and parents.
As middle schoolers, kids hang out at the library and read the latest graphic novels with friends after school, and as high school students, they visit to exam-cram.
Years later, when cardholders turn 18, they trade their youth card for an adult library card. Some laugh or cringe at their younger self’s signature on their youth card, while others want to keep the card and signature as a memento or art piece. Soon, they might consult Consumer Reports online to find the best-rated washer and dryer to replace the ones that just died mid-wash (speaking from personal experience with that one).
Whatever your age or stage, we look forward to helping you find something just right for you at the library!