Public libraries have been around since Benjamin Franklin donated over a hundred books to the town of Franklin, MA, about forty minutes away from me. I grew up around libraries, even worked in one, studied in many, and built my classroom library through constant scrounging as well as donations from families.
One of my earliest memories is of my mother taking me to the library, a weekly pilgrimage to a squat brick building downtown. Inside, opaque glass block windows cast a creepy gray-green light that I’ve never forgotten.
Children weren’t allowed in the adult stacks back then, which presented a problem for fluent readers. I wasn’t the only child who reached a no-man’s-land when I finished reading the children’s books. But my mother, who’d been a teacher, spoke to the head librarian, who reluctantly granted permission for me to borrow from the adult collection. My love of reading blossomed from there.
What role have libraries played in your life?