A Love of Libraries #NationalLibraryWorkersDay

Happy Hump Day, SEers! Did you know that yesterday was National Library Workers Day? If you’re like most writers, libraries hold a special place in your heart.

aisles of books in a library

When I was a kid, my parents used to take me to our local library every weekend. I’m the youngest of four siblings, and came later in life for my parents. By the time I was in first grade, they were in their mid-forties—past the point of going outside and playing ball  or chasing me around in a game of tag. As a result, they found quieter pursuits to share. My dad taught me to play chess when I was ten, and how to put ideas together to form stories. My mom shared books with me and passed on her love of reading. Both of my parents loved libraries, and we often spent Saturday afternoons camped out there.

As I got older, sometimes my mom and I would checkout the same books. I remember when we were both reading Thomas Tyrone’s The Other, followed by his Harvest Home and how we’d chat about them afterward. Even though my day toyed with writing fiction in his twenties, and was the one who taught me to paint pictures with words, he favored reading non-fiction (probably why I tend to be a sponge about learning new things).

Libraries have been part of my life since I was a kid, and remain a treasured part to this day. My husband retired three years ago, but after one year of doing home projects, decided to pick up a part time job. Since then he’s been working at our local library in a maintenance capacity—setting up rooms for the various programs, running conduit for computers—that sort of thing.

Little girl in polka dot dress has back to camera. Is choosing a book in the library to take homeIn another life I probably would have been a librarian if I hadn’t blundered into real estate at an extremely young age. I’ve learned so much through the things hubby has told me about how hard these amazing people work, and the effort they put into their programs. It’s made him respect them, too.

My local library is especially big on programs for children, but they offer a multitude of classes and workshops for adults. I’ve taken a Spanish course through them, several online college-level computer classes (free of charge), and have participated in writing meetings and author signings. In fact, I’m scheduled to be part of a local author festival the end of this month.

So today, I’m giving a shout-out to libraries, and especially, library workers. We all know how easy it is to Google something, but I still like to trek into the library every now and then, camp out in one of the study areas, and spend a few hours with my Mac. Of course, I always have to take a peek at the fiction and language section before leaving, too.

What about you? Do you have a love for libraries? Treasured memories from childhood when books were extra magical? My niece is a librarian (shout-out to Renee!), and I made the lead character in my upcoming release, Cusp of Night, a librarian. As writers, we owe special gratitude to these wonderful places for instilling a love of learning, reading, and books. If you know a librarian, give them a hug, and thank them for their hard work. Then talk libraries with me in the comments.  You don’t even have to whisper.

Bio banner for author Mae Clair

47 thoughts on “A Love of Libraries #NationalLibraryWorkersDay

  1. I’m so far behind … I love libraries! When I was in first grade, we didn’t have a town library where we lived, so the bookmobile came through once a month. After we moved to another town that did have a library, I would spend hours there. When my kids were little, I used to bring them to the library every Saturday morning. Now my daughter works at our local library after school. Since my daughter played tennis over the summers and in the fall, I got on as a substitute for her. Achieved my dream of someday working in a library. Now I’m thinking I might take over her position once she goes off to college (except for working every Saturday morning. I like my Sat. mornings free 🙂 ).

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so cool! Saturday morning was the time when my parents took me to the library, too. It sounds like your love of libraries goes way back!
      It would be wonderful to sub there now and then. I keep telling my husband when I retire I’m going to join the “Friends of the Library.”
      I think it’s awesome you’re considering taking over your daughter’s position when she goes to college. There’s nothing better than be surrounded by books and people who love books!
      P.S. Welcome back!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I also have very good memories of libraries, Mae. They are not the same here in South African now as there isn’t much budget available for them. Most of the books are now donated so I rather buy ebooks to read on my kindle. We also had lovely and helpful librarians in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s nice that you have those memories, Robbie, but sad that libraries are becoming a thing of the past in your area. I can understand why you would buy ebooks for your Kindle. Even with so many libraries available in my area, I still buy plenty of ebooks too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links | Staci Troilo

  4. I used to love going to the local public library, in Wealdstone, North London, where I lived. I was an avid reader and I often went there to borrow books, do homework and research for school projects. In pre Internet days, access to information and reading was restricted to libraries. I have fond memories. I rarely go now, because I no longer feel the need, but I know my students make goid use of them!

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    • I remember the days of going to libraries to do research for school projects, and of course, to borrow books. It sounds like you have fond memories. The internet has definitely changed how libraries are used, but I love that they’re still necessary. Thanks for dropping by to share your thoughts today, Luccia!

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  5. Libraries always intimidated me. I always became overwhelmed with how many choices there were and could never make up my mind where to begin and what to choose. I was always happy when I found an author with many books because it took away my stress of finding a book. I think that’s why I fell in love with reading series novels. Somehow, I always had books to read, but I can’t remember too many library memories. Maybe I’ve suppressed them all. Lol!

    Liked by 3 people

    • OMG, Yvette, your reply made me chuckle. I never stopped to think about the number of books in a library and how intimidating that could be. I remember the days of learning the card catalog and being thrilled when I figured it out. Even if you don’t have the “best” memories of libraries, you clearly have a love of books and reading, and that’s what counts. Thanks for sharing!

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      • I do love books and reading tremendously. I think my trepidation with libraries was probably the beginning sign of my OCD tendencies. Too many books, all different sizes/colors, all organized in an order that left the shelves looking disheveled. Lol!

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  6. An awesome shout-out to libraries and librarians, Mae! My mom took me to the library weekly from age four and I can remember how grown-up I felt when I got my own library card at the age of eight. Libraries rock and so do all of the awesome parents who get their kids hooked on books! ❤ Sharing…

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    • Thanks for sharing, Bette. Your comment brought a smile to my face. I remember when I got my first library card, too. It was magic—and what a door it opened to a wondrous world where anything was possible in books. I love when parents get their kids hooked on reading and books. It’s a joy to see that at the library!

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  7. I have to confess I haven’t been to a library in years. Kindle makes it easy to read and I don’t have to worry about returns, lol. That said, it’s hard not to breathe a sigh when I look at those stacks of books in the pictures above.
    Maybe it’s time I pick up a membership 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s still something magical about them, Jacquie. Between bookstores and my Kindle it’s rare for me to check a book out of the library, but I still love going there for research or even for a place to work. I just love to soak up the atmosphere! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Wow, your wife is is definitely a readaholic. I usually average a book a week when I’m not in writing mode, but one a day?!?!? Good for her! And I’m sure libraries love her 🙂

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  8. As a child, libraries were my favorite place in the world to be. My older sister and I spent many summer days in the library and would check out as many books as was permitted. We won awards every summer for reading the most books. We both devoured them. I still to this day, get a special warm feeling when I walk into a library. It is sad that so many of them in our part of the world are losing their funding and I hope they manage to survive, for I too love the library! Thanks for sharing, Mae.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a great story about you and your sister, Jan. I bet you devoured those books. It’s so much fun when you have someone to share your love of reading with. I too hope that libraries continue to flourish. They provide such a wonderful outlet and resource, especially for children and seniors. Whenever I get around to retiring, I told my husband I’ll be camping out there more often! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You brought back many fond memories of the library. I remember in High School I would go to the library after dinner and stay until it closed. One time my mom showed up as I was leaving. It seems she got it in her head I was doing something other than what I said when questioned where I was going. Her look was priceless. The score: Mom 67. John 1. I loved it.

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  10. One of the best smells is that of an old library. I went a lot as a child. I’ll be honest; I don’t go that often anymore. Where I live, I border two towns (one large, one small). The small town just built a new library. It’s not that big (which reminds me of when I was young), but it’s new and doesn’t have that special scent of old books. The other town is huge, and so is the library. It reminds me more of my college library than my hometown. But both of these libraries have wonderful resources and programs. I’ve even spoken at an author event at one of them and attended such events at both. Regardless of the amenities, libraries are fabulous places. No matter where we lived, I took my kids to them when they were young, and we always found interesting things. Great memories with them. And from my own childhood, too.

    Great tribute to libraries and the people who work in them, Mae.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It’s hard to get out to the library these days. I usually only make it several times a year, but those visits are always special. I don’t really need the smell of “old” books (although that is a great aroma) so much as I just need the setting and atmosphere. I have three libraries within a short drive, and one a little farther out, but I generally only visit the one in the town where I live.

      I’m glad my post sparked a stroll down memory lane for you, Staci. It sounds like you have some wonderful memories of libraries.

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  11. The first thing I ever wanted to be was a librarian. They’ve been my favorite place since I was little, and back then I lived in such a small town, we only had a traveling library. It came once a week, and I was always there to get my newest stash from the bus. I hope we always continue to support and fund our libraries. They’re an amazing resource, for books and beyond.

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    • I agree with you, Carrie–they are am amazing resource. I hope more people, especially younger people who have grown up with the internet, appreciate all that libraries offer. And I just saw something about a travelling library (bookmobile) on the news yesterday. I guess they haven’t gone out of style!

      Thanks for sharing!

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  12. I spent a lot of time in the library when I was younger and I go there a bunch to pick up books I reserve these days. That’s a countywide program I wish I had as a kid because it means access to more books. We take my son there at times, but he gets distracted by the blocks in the kid section and the aquarium near the entrance. So, we can’t get him to read until he gets home. They do a lot of programs for senior citizens and kids though, including a comic/anime convention in May that we’re going to. I think a lot of communities have their library act as an activity center, but I’ll admit that I’ve been to some places where you can’t find a library. It’s weird.

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    • Our library functions in many ways as an activity center too, especially when it comes to kids. I don’t remember those kind of programs when I was young, but I think its outstanding they offer so many learning opportunities now. I bet as your son grows older he’ll have fond memories of the library, just like we do from our childhoods. I have to admit that comic/anime convention sounds like fun. I’m sure all of you will have a blast!

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      • There were summer reading contests, which still go on. I have to check to see when registration is for that too. They’re doing egg hatching right now. You get to check in and see if any of these incubated eggs hatched, which was fun last year.

        The library is going to be a mess this summer. They got money to revamp the building, which will include a small theater for local plays.

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    • The egg-hatching sounds so cute! Your library is very creative with the things they offer.
      How wonderful they got revamp money. I live in a tourist town, so we have a separate theater that hosts local events as well as headliner shows, but I love the idea of a local theater being connected with the library. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that being done before. What a great support system for both entities!

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  13. I need to utilize our local library more often. As a child, I loved going to the school library (my hometown didn’t have a public library in those days). My dad was an avid reader as was my older brother and my mom to an extent. I always had a library book checked out. Later I used to visit the library for genealogy research. Hats off to all library workers and thanks for sharing your special memories.

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    • Charles mentioned in his comment that some places you go don’t have libraries. I guess I just always took it for granted that there was a public library within a short drive of our house, never realizing that not all communities had libraries. I’m glad you were able to make use of the school library when you were a kid, Joan, and that you had family members who loved to read. I think that really carries over from adults to children. My husband is NOT a reader (although he will read text books to learn something) and I always joke that he’s married to a fiction writer and (now) works at a library! 😀

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  14. Oh, Mae, I used to love libraries! As a young teen, they helped satiate my love of books. I couldn’t have got hold of those wonderful stories otherwise. Sadly, I now live in a rural area that as long since had many small local libraries closed 😒. The nearest lives a good ways off. We do get a mobile library but it just isn’t the same, and access isn’t great for all the elderly folks around here or fo little old me with my physical limitations. And, before the days of the World Wide Web, libraries were the place to go for any research. Thanks for this lovely post 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    • Harmony, I’m glad you have those wonderful memories of libraries. It’s so sad that your small local libraries have closed. I understand how the mobile library would not be the same.

      When you mentioned the old days of doing research, I remember going and camping out at a library table. In those days you weren’t allowed to check out research books, especially encyclopedias and I often had to reference them for school reports. Times have changed, but I think those of us who remember libraries from childhood, will never lose our love of them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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