image from Flickr
We went there frequently--at least weekly, I think. We participated in the summer reading programs and in the turtle race that took place in the library parking lot (One year my turtle Sprinkles won! The next year year our turtle bit my mom on the flap of skin between her thumb and forefinger and after that we quit participating...).
We dressed up for the Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character Contest. I was Pippi Longstocking, my brother was Paddington Bear. I believe I got second place in my age category and he got first place in his, which suited us just fine since my turtle had taken first place and his had taken second so we each had the same number of first and second place trophies. (If only life still seemed so fair.)
I can remember the smell of the library, and how the downstairs (children's library) smelled different from the upstairs even though they both smelled exactly like a library should smell--like sweet glue and old paper. I can see in my mind the exact location of all the Trixie Beldon books. There was also red wooden playhouse that had a window for puppet shows. There were board games in one part of the children's section and sometimes we would play Hi Ho Cheerios because we didn't have that game at home.
The librarian knew us by name and I can still remember my library card number: 2727. Is that not the best library number ever?
Needless to say, I want the library to be an integral part of Zuzu's childhood, too. I'm looking forward to participating in story hour and picking out new books to read and making it a regular destination for us.
On Saturday we visited the Central Library downtown for the first time. And OMG it is SO COOL. It's such a beautiful building, and they've done such great things with the space. It was a library back in the day, but had stood empty for so long, and now it's just exactly what a library should be, with all of these separate rooms: "Children's Library," "Teen Lounge," "Science and Nature," "Business and Law." It has huge windows and the stacks are lit from within and the furniture is inviting. They've done a great job of balancing historical restoration with modern technology. I wanted to wander all over the place and then find a table or a chair to sit and read and write and study. My inner nerdy bookworm was absolutely giddy.
|image from here|
|Make way for Duckworths!|
Of course, I know I won't be reading 100 books of the equivalent of Anna Karenina in a year's time, so I'm also indulging in my love for young adult literature. I just finished The Golden Compass and have put in requests for the other two books in the trilogy. Today at the library I checked out Lemony Snicket's new book, All the Wrong Questions: "Who Could That Be At This Hour?" I haven't read any of the Series of Unfortunate Events books that are so popular, but I heard the author do an interview with Terri Gross on a Fresh Air podcast and he was so funny that I decided I wanted to read this book, which seems to satirize the detective noir genre.
There are at least two other library locations that are much closer to our house than Central Library, and both are really nice facilities. They just aren't quite as magical as this space downtown. It isn't much like the hometown Carnegie library that I remember so fondly, but it's very lovely in its own way. I am quite certain that Zuzu's first visit to Central Library will not be her last.
Here's a link to the website. The video is totally worth watching, seriously.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have 100 books to read.