National Library Week

Modern Mrs. Darcy linked up to a literary holiday list which sent me off to find a more full list (here) which I used to fill out my calendar. I wanted to do some posts on this, and I’ve wanted to utilize my library system better; I’ve been slowly discovering more and more services, but this has only been recently even though I’ve had access to this library for ages. So, I’m going to do a series of posts on my library system.

My library history:

I grew up in an idyllic “small-town” city. The population when we left was between six to eight thousand (it is a little over eight now). I think we had three decent sized libraries in our library system, and we used two of these. We left right around when the library started switching to computers, I think, maybe? Anyway, these libraries had plenty of books for children, tweens, and young teens plus a nice interlibrary loan capacity. I wasn’t an adult when we used this system, so I don’t know how it would feel now.

We then moved to the suburbs of the largest city in our state for two years. This city is not in but is close to the top 20 most populous in the U.S. (although swallowing farms, suburbs, and small towns to increase city limits is an interesting way to increase size). We lived less than 10 minutes from two of the eighteen libraries in this system although we only used one then (I think there may have been a few less then, but there have been more in the past). This is a Carnegie library system (! I just found this out recently; so cool). I was still too young and limited (we really did not have much computer knowledge then) to fully appreciate everything this system had plus I was in my reading mental drama period.

Then we moved to our current location, a “city” of well under 2,000. This library system was a shock; one tiny, tiny library with a scarily small parking lot (lots of driving fear here) with no funds for many interlibrary loans; the library has recently massively increased in size although not in content. This is NOT the library I mention when talking of my library, but I do want to include it in this week, and I want to set a week or a month to see how much I can find to read there.

I live in a commuter county next to the city I used to live in. I work, visit, and shop in the outer suburbs of the city which takes 20-40 minutes depending on where I go, the route I take, etc. I’ve only ever driven downtown once in my entire life (although I’ve been more than once, but not often), and that took almost a decade of driving to accomplish (but I need to drive downtown at least a couple more times to get to the historic main library with all the archives and such! Maybe next year for library week?). I bring my pay-stub to show I pay taxes (because of work), so I can get a library card. If I didn’t work in the city, I could (and would) pay a fee. If you live outside a big city, I suggest you see if you have similar options.

I just like going over memories and trying to put everything in context. The public library system was a huge part of my childhood, especially since I was home-schooled.