With apologies to Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson, this is the perfect week to serenade, if not all libraries I’ve loved before, certainly the Top Five.
In all truth, I could not NOT love libraries.
I graduated the University of Pennsylvania, the college Franklin founded in 1651.
Maybe there was something in the water, either in the Delaware or the Schuylkill River?
There was certainly something book-loving in my home, where I often played Library, lending out my Golden Books, childhood biographies of famous Americans and Honeybunch titles to friends and neighbors, date-stamping their book cards and charging fair fines.
Here are my Top Five Brick-and-Mortar Library Loves in chronological order. I wouldn’t and couldn’t be a TeachingAuthor without them.
(1) The Penn Wynne Library, Wynnewood, Pennsvylania
(2) The Wilmette Public Library, Wilmette, Illinois
It's here I learned how to write for children, reading my way through and around the Children's Room of the Wilmette Public Library. The New Books shelf especially kept me current in the ever-changing world of children's book publishing. My library card also served as my Passport - to the Ozark Mountains, to 19th century America, to wherever my characters - and stories - lived.
(3) The Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois
(4) The Chicago Public Library, Chicago, Illinois
(5) The Water Works Branch of the Chicago Public Library, Chicago, Illinois
Like my first library love, the Penn Wynne Library of my childhood, Chicago's newest branch, a tiny space within Chicago's Visitor Information Center in the Water Works off Michigan Avenue, is but a stone's throw away from my Chicago home. Its Popular Library and shelves waiting to hold requested reserved books bring a smile each time I enter. All I need do is visit CPL online, reserve whatever book I need/want/long for/wish for, and just like that (almost), the book's in my 'hood, a minute away, with my name on it.
And how appropropriate is it that a library branch resides within a tourist facility?!
Oh, the traveling I've done at the libraries I've loved before.
Yesterday, when visiting Mrs. Lauren Gray’s Third Grade classroom at the George Armstrong International Studies Elementary School in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, I proudly showed my fellow writers my CPL Library Card.
“Despite the ads telling you otherwise," I shared, "THIS is the card you don’t want to leave home without!”
All of my personnaes - the Writer, the Teacher, the Writing Coach, the Teaching Author, the Former Child, the Adult and of course, the Mom, thank the above five libraries from the bottom of our book-lovers' hearts. We wish every library everywhere, built of real bricks or otherwise, Happy National Library Week!
Don't forget to visit Shelli Srjohannes blog Market My Words to read other posts celebrating National Library Week.