Thursday, April 14, 2016

Library Love #AtoZChallenge


No, I'm not doing a post about all the books in my house, although I should.  My son once joked I had a better selection than some book sales. Well, I think it was a joke.

Rather, I decided to blog about the place I'd rather be than anywhere in the world.  A public library.
Courtesy NYPL Digital Collections, free to use
Growing up in a city housing project in the Bronx of the late 1950's and early 1960's, I wanted to be a librarian.  But not just any librarian.  A bookmobile librarian.

Every Thursday except during the summer, I would visit the bookmobile that stopped by my housing project.  On the last visit before summer vacation, they would allow us to take out as many books as we wanted, and they were not due until September.

For me, Heaven!

Libraries were a haven to me.  They helped me become who I am today.

Now, libraries are in danger, such as this local library in Vestal, New York.

We all take local buildings and institutions for granted.  After all, they are there, we pass them every day, and we take them for granted. Even I do, sometimes.  I  pass this building five days a week, sometimes six.  But I rarely use this particular library.  I should.

This is Your Home Library in Johnson City New York, the closest library to where I live in upstate New York

This building was built partly in 1885 and partially in 1920.  It's a small library, but full of local history.  When you enter, in fact, there is a small display of local history - a portrait, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia.

There is evidence of an earlier era wherever you turn in the small rooms.  It is not an easy library to use, I'll admit.  The Binghamton library, where I work during the week (built in 2000), is modern and spacious.  But Your Home Library has character.  And fireplaces.

Here's another one of the fireplaces.

What a comfy reading room.   If you aren't sure what to read, the display of books along the wall - picks by the staff - will lure you into an afternoon of reading.

And one more view of the building.

Local public libraries face many challenges today.  Their funds are constantly being cut.  People are loathe to vote in the tax increases they need to survive.  But these libraries are, increasingly, so much more than a place where you can walk in with a card and walk out with one or more books to read.  They provide internet access, wi-fi,  computers for those who don't own one, job hunting services, e books, CDs and DVDs, magazines, free tax preparation done by volunteers, free databases, and so much more. One of our local libraries even features yoga classes on Fridays.

In fact, the photo I started this post with is from a digital collection of the New York (City) Public Library, and anyone can down load it, free of charge.

As I used to say in the 60's, "isn't that awesome?"

What is your local library worth to you? 

"L" post for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.


  1. Your feelings about libraries echo mine. Ours has won a national medal of honor. I was fortunate to have chaired the building authority when it was rebuilt in 1989 and then chaired a millage campaign in 2009 for additional funding. It is a warm welcoming building all thanks to the staff and residents of our community.

  2. I fear libraries will go the way of magazines. because people don't (want to) read print; they are lay and want 200 word stories that may or may not be ture. But, even a work of fiction won't take us to soaring heights in 200 words.

  3. The library pictures are beautiful. In our country, there are very few libraries. In fact, the one close to my home is pathetic and does not have selection of books or even a good librarian. Budget is a big issue all the time. So hold on to your library and walk into it.

  4. I love the kind of look fireplaces have. They always look mysterious and dreamy to me. I haven't been to a library in a long time. Now that you have mentioned them, I miss the peace and quietude of libraries where you can get lost in the world of imagination.

    A Whimsical Medley
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

  5. I LOVE libraries! I love my local library, although its' character definitely has more modern then historic. I still just love being in a library, browsing the books, and enjoying the quiet! What a great post! I fear that we really are losing the old historic places of the past. What a tragedy!

  6. We've got some pretty great libraries around here, too. Funnily enough, I ran into the school's librarian on my way in to work today.

  7. I used to hate libraries when I was young, specially in school and college!! Now I am dying to find out one nearby so that I can rent some books!
    Tina From
    The Sunny Side of Life
    Twinkling Tina Cooks

  8. Wow, my mother used to take me to the bookmobile. I remember that it wa very cozy. I enjoyed your piece, really interesting.

    Good luck with the challenge.


  9. I love our town's library except the books are a bit outdated.

  10. I have been to a couple of local libraries but recently haven't seen one. There used to be such a charm around libraries and I miss seeing one for such a long time. Great post.


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