Weekly Readers and Scholastic book order forms were a staple of elementary school life, and I started building my own library. I loved reading true or fictional stories about animals, especially books about horses. James Herriot (All Things Bright and Beautiful), Walter Farley (The Black Stallion), and Marguerite Henry (Misty of Chincoteague) were some of my favorite authors, and I still have some of their books on my shelves today.
Library cards were an important key to life, for they allowed me access to more books through the school libraries, public libraries, and bookmobiles. I could spend hours perusing the shelves, looking for just the right books to check out. I could try a new genre and if I didn’t like it, I simply returned it to the library. Books fed my hunger for knowledge, and for adventure. But the library is also where I discovered poetry and history, biographies and romance novels.
Today, in addition to brick and mortar libraries we have virtual libraries. E-readers hold hundreds, if not thousands, of books at one time. They enable us to travel with our books, without taking up too much space. They enable us to have references at hand, as well as to access additional books online at any given time.
This year, the American Library Association hosts National Library Week April 13-19 with author Judy Blume – another favorite childhood author – as the Honorary Chair. “Lives change @ your library” is the theme for 2014.
Has a library or librarian had a positive impact on your life? Please take time to share your story and raise public awareness of the value books can have on our lives.