Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Loves the Library

When I was a child, the public library was a haven. I knew where to find the books I wanted by memorizing their relative location on the shelves in the basement (the kid's section). With glee, I took the "secret entrance" hidden behind bushes in the front of the building. The haunted second floor called to me with its dark woodwork, high ceilings and creaking floors.

School libraries were always special places, especially during junior high after we found all the "dirty words" in the urban dictionary.

When I was in college, I'd walk through the stacks just to be surrounded by books. I studied in the stacks, finding the quietest corner I could: a desk tucked in an out-of-the-way niche. The library was safe. Peaceful. Alive.

I love the public library now. Its a place to find books to feed my ravenous second grader, new authors to explore, comedy DVDs to watch with my wife and prove I'm not all "ghosts and cobwebs".

Libraries are our friends. As a writer, I can think of no better monument to the written word. (Used bookstores are pretty awesome, too, but that's another post).

So here's the call to action:

This holiday season, think about a "gift" donation to a library (public or school). Libraries (almost always) take cash donations, and most won't turn away a book. Think about buying a copy of your favorite novel, collection, or biography (if the library doesn't already have one). Better yet, introduce them to something from the small press and help support writers who might not be on the "radar".

Our school library is running a campaign through Book-Boosters to raise money (www.book-boosters.com/bulldogbooks). I think its a great idea.

On Monday, I'll mention a few "gift ideas". Let me know if you have a book you'd like me to include (aaron.polson(at)gmail.com).

Have a safe weekend.

8 comments:

Barry Napier said...

I miss my old library. Although, every time I take my kids to the local one, there is ALWAYS a sign up asking for volunteers for kids programs and I always want to see if I can help...but I always chicken out.

Aaron Polson said...

Go ahead and sign up, Barry, but don't scare the kids. ;)

Katey said...

Well said, sir! I can think of no better gift. I tend to buy everyone I know books--I should buy everyone I don't know books, too!

The library is still a haven for me-- Arlington County's is magic. Wow.

Akasha Savage. said...

Well said that man! I run a school library and I aim to make it a place that all the children want to visit. I love libraries in all shapes and forms...long may they prosper :D

Chadwicked said...

Unfortunately, I was never really treated to the luxury of libraries as a child. A family friend of mine is a librarian (we also went to the same college and both majored in english) and she's always saying I should stop by and grab some books . . . but when I was a child my family had the attitude of "if you want something, you buy it." Hence, I spent more time in book stores than libraries. In fact, the only time I really visit the local library is in June when they have their super-mega library-book sale.

Milo James Fowler said...

We're lucky enough to have a great library a block away, and my wife and I walk over often. Every book in my reading queue is usually from the local library. I'd be broke if I had to buy every book I read!
Write1Sub1

Rabid Fox said...

I've given a half-dozen or so books to my local library so far this year.

Lee Thompson said...

Great post, Aaron. I have quite a few books I'll never read again (yet enjoyed enough) that I can hand over to my local library. It'd be a sad, sad world without them.