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A Tribute to My Local Library

I love the library. I always have. Some of my first memories are of my mom taking me to the library. My sister taught me to read when I was 3 years old. So when my mom would take me to the library on a weekday, I would have the kids section to myself. There was a little clubhouse I would climb into with a stack of books and read the morning away. At the time I was reading things like The Little Tugboat and Danny and the Dinosaur, so I was able to read several books during the course of a morning.

When I started going to school my parents sent me to a Christian school in the next town over. I was a poor kid who was given a scholarship to go to this private school. I didn't fit in well with the more well off kids there, and back at home I didn't know any of the kids in my neighborhood. As a result I spent a lot of time alone, and books became a close friend. My school would take us to the library and we could check out 5 books a week. The library in the town my school was in dated back to the early 1920's and had a lot of older books my local library didn't have. I read both the Black Stallion and Black Beauty series, the Alfred Hitchcock Three Investigators series, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and many more.

I checked out a copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare so often that when they were moving to a new location they gave it to me. I also checked out The Hobbit, and began a Tolkien obsession that would last 35 years and counting. At some point my parents divorced and my mom and I moved to the town with the good library. I also started attending public school, and my friends and I would hang out at the library after school "studying". That's when I began to discover the treasures of the non-fiction section. I found out that any obscure thing you might be interested in, there was likely a book about it.

After the facility move I mentioned earlier the library started checking out more than books. They had graphic novels, cd's, and movies. When I became a divorced dad with very limited entertainment funds the library became a regular weekend stop for me and my kids. I can't tell you how many times I watched movies like Mrs. Bear or episode of The Magic School Bus or Dr. Who that my kids checked out over and over again. Now they're grown and on their own, and I've moved to another town. But now my local library has an event center where I have attended functions like a talk given by Black Flag singer Henry Rollins and a ballet performance of Dracula. Local libraries are more than just the gift that keeps giving. The amount of things they give seems to increase, while they still offer books by the ton for your reading pleasure. In a time where libraries are under attack, I think it's important to support your local libraries. 


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