That is not our local library (it is a library in Brazil actually, but I loved the decor). How I wish it was though. I would definitely be there all. the. time. I love just about any library though. It goes way back. My mom used to take me to the local library once or twice a week when I was little and I remember how immense it felt to me. I think I loved it then for the same reason I love it now. It is just so much potential. There are people and places and things, new skills, ideas, philosophies…I want to read them all.
But, I love the library (over places like bookstores, that also offer a load of books) is that it also seems to represent community, non-consumerism and philanthropy. I don’t know if that is true of every library, but that is what it is to me. The ideal space representing the best in society. It is well-organized, focused (books and computers, maybe some kids toys, DVDs and movies and that’s it), provides services for free if you just get a card, is filled with people who love books, has volunteers working there (as well as a couple of people who I’m sure are underpaid, but doing it because they love it) and provides a space for those at all levels of our socioeconomic community – from the homeless to the wealthy. There aren’t many spaces we can say that about left in our communities. Prior to our commuter-oriented, suburbanized evolution, there were all kinds of public spaces. The grocery (or market as my mom used to call it) – there was typically one, maybe two in a community and everyone shopped there. The schools (practically everyone was in the PTA and schools often had events that included the entire community – sporting events, concerts, etc.). The parks. Or maybe that is just a utopian vision we’ve painted of the past?
Anyways, I like that utopian vision and I have tried to pass on my love of the library to my daughter. She is only five and right now she loves going to the library. It is a little “field trip” that we do every couple of weeks. I hope we will share it for many years to come. I look forward to sharing the limitlessness that reading brings as she progresses as a reader (she is already reading pretty well for a 5 yo). I want to be able to go new places with her, meet new people and learn about all kinds of new things. A Google search is amazing and obviously extremely informative, but it isn’t the same as reading a book and having things become clearer as the pages turn.
So, I am committing myself to a couple of things in 2015. I’ve already committed to “less screen in 2015” and I’ve been reading before bed instead of playing Candy Crush and Pet Rescue. But, I’m always looking for what I really love and what is really me and I think I’ve uncovered a few things. First, I love Murder, She Wrote. But, it isn’t really Murder, She Wrote I love, it is the nature of the show. I love that she is a nice, smart, friendly and critically thinking older woman who gets answers by paying attention and not giving up instead of bullying or beating people. I love the mystery and the anticipation, but I want things to be figured out (I know, not very postmodern of me). When I go to the library, I feel the people there are much the same on average – they are nice, smart (readers are smart), friendly, critical thinkers who pay attention and get answers through words on a page. So, I’m going to recalibrate by not only reading more, but volunteering at the library. I have been looking for a place to volunteer and it seems like it is the perfect place for me to volunteer. It serves the wider community and I have a love for it. I am also going to visit more often and participate in more of the things they offer because libraries stay open to serve people and if people don’t go there, they won’t stay open. I am so glad we have a library that is open six days a week and have a Kid’s area and a Young Adult area and a good selection of movies as well as books as well as CDs. I want to make sure that is maintained. I also love that they show movies (my DD and I went and watched “The Long Way Home” during the summer) and offer times with tutors available and chess play and Wii play and other fun stuff for kids who might find it hard to find somewhere to go for free that has things to do.
Anyways – this started out as just a thought piece about the library (we visited there yesterday), but it turned into much more than that. It turned into a piece that helped me learn something about myself. Or at least uncover something about myself – or recalibrate something…
What about you? What do you love?