In previous posts I’ve written about how libraries are priceless and give so much to their communities. My friend Randy Randall, a writer, feels the same way, and he loves libraries as much as I do. He wrote the following post about the Old Orchard Beach Public Library, the library he went to as a child.
Your note about celebrating the value of the library… [b]rought back some great memories. I think I told you how when we lived on the farm, my mother ordered a ‘summer bookshelf’ from the Maine
State Library. The books arrived in a wooden box like rifles would be shipped in. Come to think of it, those books by the world’s great authors were more powerful and dangerous then firearms.
But I digress…what I was really thinking about was the Old Orchard Beach Library. A typical small town library, but for me it was Google,
Wikipedia and Youtube all wrapped up in one place. I practically lived there. I took out so many books and was such a frequent patron the librarian knew my card number by heart! So I guess I owe my love of reading to my mother but I think there was some natural curiosity there as well. It keeps me going to this day.
I love learning stuff. For no other reason then just being
aware and intrigued by how the world works…. I remember the card catalogue and how the long narrow drawers with the index cards slid open. I loved to roam the aisles fingering the spines of the books and bending my head sideways so I could read the titles. And when I
found one book I enjoyed I knew there were others of the same type all grouped together there on the shelf.
It was like hitting a rich vein in a gold mine! It also helped that the
the elderly librarian was a nice person. She was friendly and caring and took the trouble to know me personally. Not that that was all that difficult to do in a small Maine town. Still she looked out for me and set books aside she knew I’d enjoy.
“One of my favorite places to read was up in a tree. We had huge pasture pines with mighty limbs that were like arms and a small boy could easily straddle the limb or lean comfortably back against the trunk while he read Treasure Island. Oh don’t get me started. The town library changed my life. I’ll never forget it.