Saturday, April 17, 2010

National Library Week

“Batavia in some ways looks like a town that time has left alone.”
Mayor Jeffrey D. Schielke

Whether it’s a quiet haven for reflection or story time for kids, Batavia Public Library (my current home-town library) is a warm and inviting example of what a public library should be. Grab a cup of coffee on the way in, find a comfy club chair and settle in for an hour of reading.

Libraries have changed over the years with technology driving libraries to provide banks of computers nestled among the books. Yet, the library still has a special hold on my heart.

Growing up in Prattville, Alabama, I’d spend Saturday mornings at the library. I hung out there so much that eventually the two ancient white-haired lady librarians put me to work shelving. It’s amazing how much a curious junior high kid can find out about sex education from medical reference books.

I loved the dusty smell of old magazines like Time, Saturday Evening Post, and Life. They provided me a visual history of the first half of the 20th Century, which I think is largely responsible for my love of history. Given the liberty to poke around at will, I delved into fiction and non-fiction.

Today, we can hold a iPad or Kindle, text a message on our phones, and from our computers download all manner of information. But there’s still just no better place to hang out than the library.