Saturday, February 21, 2009

For the Love of Libraries

Do you ever wish you could peek at someone else's library list? I do. That's one reason I love websites like Shelfari and Library Thing (both of which I use to some degree) since it gives you an idea of what people are reading, or at least what they say they're reading.

We've become famous (or do I mean notorious?) at our local public library. When the children's librarians see us coming, they know we'll have such a big stack that they sometimes try to foist us off on the other worker, as in "it's your turn to check them out this week." Fortunately, they also like us, and they like our smiling daughter who slides the gold colored library card exuberantly across the desk, as though she's playing table hockey.

The main librarian downstairs, the one who coordinates the hold-shelf, knows us so well we usually don't have to present our card. When she sees me coming, especially if I'm empty-handed, she knows that means I had too many hold-shelf books for them to be placed on the shelf that week, so she checks behind the desk for our stack. I'm starting to feel like the public library is our own personal Cheers, minus Norm and Cliff. The place where everybody knows your name!

We love renewals too. Here's a fun look at the items I just renewed on our library account this morning:

Oscar & Steve, sound recording by Mandy Patinkin (this is a great recording of songs by Hammerstein and one else in the family appreciates it much, so I have to listen to it on earphones!)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Scholastic Video) (although she's getting a bit old for the Chicka Chicka books, the sweet girl still likes the rambunctious video versions from time to time)

Lord Peter: A Collection of All the Lord Peter Wimsey Stories by Dorothy Sayers (still savoring and reading some of the additional essays)

by A.A. Milne (audio CD, read by Jim Broadbent)

The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller (one of the most clever and funny geography picture books ever...I'm working on a review)

One of these days, I am thinking of writing a love poem for libraries. Until then, occasional blog-posts will have to do!


Erin said...

That's great that your library is such a homey kind of place! Back when we had a library down the street I was pretty familiar with the librarians there too. The main library has a much bigger staff, and I always seem to get a different person when I go there. But they're all great at their jobs. Being surrounded by books all day doesn't sound too bad!

Looking forward to your library poem when you decide to write it! :)

Beth said...

Well, this is our bigger library two towns over. The librarians at the smaller library here in town know us too, but it's just not quite as friendly or (oddly enough) as book-loving an atmosphere. Still, there are some kind workers there who are very encouraging of the sweet girl.

But the larger library has an amazing staff and collection. Just a few hours after I posted this, we were at the check-out desk with our weekly mountain of books, and the clerk had actually put a book aside for my daughter "just because it made me think of her!" Gotta love it. And I loved even more that it really was a terrific book, just right for her, one she's read several times this week (including on her own). I think the fact that one of the "library ladies" picked it out especially for her just added to the specialness.

OK, now I'm feeling challenged to write a library poem! ;-)