Daymaker - a person who performs acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place.
~ David Wagner
, author of Life as a Daymaker; how to change the world by making someone's day ~

DayMaker - any thought, word, or deed that spreads happiness, compassion, or fruitful ideas.
~ Annis Cassells ~

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lovin' Libraries

It's National Library Week. Some of my most fond memories are of my school days when friends Saundra and Patricia and I made our weekly trek to the public Library in Detroit. We would leave straight from Marcy School, each of us with a minimum of four or five books tucked under our arms, and the adventure would begin. It seemed like a long distance that we covered, but it went by quickly as we talked a blue streak while we moved with purpose. 

In the warm months, we stopped by Eagle Brand Dairy to get milkshakes or ice cream. During the winter, we’d alternate walking a block and running a block so we could warm up. If one of us forgot her gloves, another would share a pair, wearing one on the hand that held the books and jamming the other in winter coat pockets. For those few hours a week, we were independent young women, making our way in the world.

The Library has been a hallowed place for me. I remember anticipating joining our school’s Girl Scout troop as a sixth grader. I’d been on a waiting list for a long time and finally got the call to attend a meeting in the school Library. I got there early and found a seat at one of those big wooden library tables. The Girl Scouts began to trickle in. Some sat down and waited quietly. Too many entered the library wildly, running in, screeching, crawling under tables and chasing each other, fending off with chairs like a lion tamer.  I observed this for awhile and made a judgment call. Getting up from the table and pushing my chair under, I walked out that door, never to become a Scout. I wanted no part of a group that didn’t know how to act in the Library!

Even with technology and information at my fingertips, the Library is still my go-to place. I love the energy of people searching, seeking, reading, and studying. The owner of  neither a Kindle, Nook, or iPad, I relish the feel and smell of a book, page after page.

These days, when I have time between appointments, but too little to return home, I’ll often wander into the Library. Sometimes I find a spot where I can spend a few moments working on a project; sometimes I just browse among the stacks or sit and read or soak up the atmosphere

When the library's closed, the desolate parking lot looks abandoned. But, when driving past a nearby branch of the Kern County Library on the days it's open, I notice the cars crammed into all the parking spaces, the people lined up outside the doors. Once inside, I see folks at computers, hanging in the stacks, studying in the carels and at tables, and camped in the conference rooms. These days, the Library is open only four days a week.So on the days it is open, all resources are strained to the max. Budget cuts, you know. 

I guess we can thank our lucky stars that our last strongholds of knowledge and refuge remain viable. But one thing I know for sure: Libraries, places of discovery and solace, have made a huge difference in my life. I urge you to celebrate National Library Week by merely showing up at your local library. It may take you back and bring forth the memories.

~ xoA