When I was a little girl, my Dad & I would have “library Sundays.” We drove downtown to the huge (in my eyes) glass and concrete building that was the Main Library for Greensboro. Sometimes he would stay and do research in the local history room. He taught me to use the microfilm, the card catalogue and explained just everything. We would each do our own thing and sometimes as the closing hour drew close — I would hide. I thought it was kind of cool, and never worried how panicked my Dad would be — the grand plan was to get locked in the library. I could have stayed there indefinitely. There are few indoor places in the world I’ve ever loved better!
I was reminded of those afternoons today as I co-hosted the school library’s volunteer brunch. In my non-writing life, I spend some time at the girls’ school helping where I can — OK, most of my time is spent in the library. Watching all those moms (and yeah!! we have some dads this year) fall under the spell of the librarian reminded me of those distant Sundays…..
My First Memory (of Librarians) by Nikki Giovanni
This is my first memory:
A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky
A line of green shades—bankers’ lights—down the center
Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply
For me to sit in and read
So my first book was always big
In the foyer up four steps a semi-circle desk presided
To the left side the card catalogue
On the right newspapers draped over what looked like
a quilt rack
Magazines face out from the wall
The welcoming smile of my librarian
The anticipation in my heart
All those books—another world—just waiting
At my fingertips.
reading music: I Write Sins not Tragedies (Panic! at the Disco); Edit (Regina Spektor); Little Children (the Willys); To Love the Language (Harry Connick — another top 100 song); Tea in the Sahara (either the Police version or Sting’s solo version); Against History (Dan Wilson); Teach Me Tonight (Dinah Washington); Picasso’s Last Words (Paul McCartney & Wings); Who Taught You (Demolition String Band); Follow Your Bliss (B-52s); I Could Write a Book (Frank Sinatra); She’s a Rebel (Green Day); Darn that Dream (Miles Davis); Mind Trick (Jamie Cullum); The Theory of Relativity (Deborah Holland); What a Girl Wants (Christina Aguilera); Slip Away (the version by Robert Arkins in the Commitments); My Little Brown Book (Duke & ‘Trane); Footloose (Kenny Loggins); and Wonderful World (Sam Cooke)
‘Tis the good reader that makes the good book… in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear. –> Ralph Waldo Emerson