In case you didn’t know, this is National Library Week. The annual event came about when back in the mid-1950s, some studies showed Americans were reading less due to the rising popularity of radios, televisions and musical instruments. The first National Library Week was in 1958 and the purpose was to celebrate all libraries and their employees for their contributions.
The theme this year is “Libraries Transform,” and I completely agree they do. Some of my earliest memories are of trips to our local library. This was back in the day when you could only check out three or four books at a time, which was agonizing for me. I gathered a big pile of books, found a cozy place to sit and read for hours.
Sometimes my mother checked out some of my books on her card since it was so difficult for me to choose. I loved “library day” at school. Our class would file down the hall and enter the sanctity of the library. I do remember the rules of being quiet were rather fiercely enforced, whether it was at the public library or at school. Coming from a rather loud family with three brothers, I relished the silence and never minded the quiet.
For children and adults, there is something so transformational about losing yourself in a good book. If you can teach a child to love reading, you open them up to a lifetime that celebrates a love of learning. There is always something to learn in our world. Libraries truly foster that wonder.
We are lucky to live in a county that has such awesome libraries. They all have terrific programs for children and adults. When our four children were young, we went to the library at least once a week — more during the winter months or if it was raining out.
The best part? You can pretty much check out as many books as you want. Over the years I certainly did my part to help support the library buying more books since we almost always had an “overdue” balance.
Paul used to tease me and say we weren’t responsible enough to have a library card since I couldn’t ever get the books back on time. Of course keeping up with 40 or 50 library books at a time was no easy task — and one I was obviously not good at.
I still go to the library probably once a week. I love checking out cookbooks and trying them out before I buy one. I love reading about gardening and learning new things to make our garden more successful. It’s fun to flip through decorating books and think about household projects.
Travel books are fun to read and dream about. As a history lover, there are always interesting history books to read. I love reading about health and even the latest trends when it comes to the industry. Of course I love a good fictional novel as well — especially when one is recommended by one of my many well-read friends.
If you haven’t visited one of our awesome libraries, or if it has been a while, this is the perfect week to go ahead and visit one. Happy National Library Week to all of the people who make ours so great and do such a fantastic job keeping them so well stocked and organized.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.