With the promise of spring just around the corner, the grass an undeniable shade greener than it was the day before comes National Library Week (April 7- 13, 2019). It’s a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and library workers and to promote library use and support. From free access to books and online resources for families to library business centers that help support entrepreneurship and retraining, libraries offer opportunity to all. The theme for 2019 National Library Week is “Libraries = Strong Communities,” and Gates Foundation Co-founder Melinda Gates will serve as 2019 National Library Week Honorary Chair.
In honor of National Library Week, I wanted to pay homage to the local libraries I’ve enjoyed all my life, and the employees and volunteers who encourage, educate, inform and in general, make things happen. Thank you for all you do!
As a writer, I’m a voracious reader – I don’t think it could be any other way. It’s there I found and fell in love with the stories of Jean Auel, Shirley Conran, Stephen King, Danielle Steele, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Janet Evanovich and so many more. The characters have become a part of me, and my journey as a writer.
And those stories and characters, along with the library itself, are part of my story. As a child, my parents – two more voracious readers – took my brother and I to the library often. In grade school, I checked out a book each week and heaven help you if you forgot it and it was overdue. (Recently, I paid fines for two overdue books and had an attack of conscience. I swear, I normally always return them on time.)
Throughout high school and college, the library became a place for research, group meetings, and study. As an adult and a mother, I found myself at the library often, enjoying not only the books, but the puzzles, the puppets and movie rentals with my daughter. Now, both she and I volunteer at the library. And it’s within walking distance! Yes, I’m a lucky girl 😊
I don’t think there’s a place that’s better on a rainy or snowy day. Or any day. Getting lost amongst the shelves, surrounded by words and quiet and imagination, is one of my favorite things to do. Always, it restores me, and brings me joy.
At 48, I guess you could consider me old school. My Smart Phone is turned off when I enter the hallowed halls of any library. I can hear my thoughts there, amid the lovely quiet and the sanctity of the shelves and stories surrounding me.
What other resource is free, yet offers so much? In the last two years, I’ve become a huge fan of Overdrive and the Libby ap – both allow you to enjoy all the digital media the library has to offer. For me, that means audio books. Now I can enjoy stories while I’m driving too! I never knew how much I’d enjoy someone reading to me.
The library continues to be a part of my life, and I, happily of its. To quote one of my favorite authors and books:
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Do you have a story to share about your favorite library? What will you do this week to show your library some love? Let me hear from you!
Rebecca E. Neely is a blogger, storyteller, writer & author. Visit her at www.rebeccaneely.com
Romance. Paranormal. Suspense.
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