|Magazine Room at the Whitman College Library|
On occasion, the room was deserted. Even as a child I was acutely aware of rooms devoid of adults and chattering kids. Those were the times when I could pull a book from the shelves, any book, sit on the floor and wander off into fairytale worlds. Eventually, my mom would return from shopping and retrieve my sister and me from the tall wooden stacks in the pink stucco public library. I would always carry home a small pile of books to read in the solitude of my home.
Whitman College students have not returned yet, so last week when I found myself only a block away, I made a small detour in my route. I crossed campus from the parking lot and entered the front door of the library, taking an immediate left into the light-filled magazine room. When I worked nearby at the childcare center, I would catch myself making the promise that upon retirement, I would visit the library often. I think about it, but haven’t yet gone as frequently as I would like to go.
I appreciate paper clips, rocks, a cat’s purr, clean underwear and libraries. Even busy libraries suit me. I find it pleasing that in an era when it seemed that books might become passé new libraries are being built. Stunning ones.
|Entrance to Montreal's Reserve Book Room|
|Art Exhibit in Montreal's Library|
|View from Seattle's Main Branch Library|
|Hallway in Seattle's Main Library|
In November, I was in Vancouver, Washington visiting a friend and had the opportunity to go to a new library. On a Friday evening, every floor was humming with people. The children’s area was packed- a great combination of play area with visually appealing displays of books. It wasn’t the quiet room of my childhood library, but I think that I would have found books anyway. The words up the lobby wall were inspiring enough. I can imagine a small child looking up at those huge incomprehensible letters in code and wishing to be able to decipher them.
The Whitman Library remained quiet my entire stay. I left without a stack of books. But in my head, my brain was still busy shelving new ideas, old words and gratitude for libraries.