Although I’ve been reading blogs fairly regularly and buying books on my Kindle for the past few years, it occurred to me that I hadn’t visited my local library in quite a long time. The library wasn’t something I thought about much anymore, in part because it’s so easy to research all kinds of topics on the Internet nowadays, instead of making a trip to the library as people once had to do.

Of course, libraries now lend electronic materials, not just paper books and magazines; but in recent years I had been buying Kindle novels from indie authors to encourage their work. When I realized how long it had been since I’d checked out anything from the library, I went to its website to sign up for electronic borrowing. Then I found that my account was no longer in the system due to inactivity.

I went to my local branch library on Monday and got a new card issued, which didn’t take long. There was quite a difference between my plain old white plastic library card, which I put in the shredder when I got home, and the colorful updated card that came with a keychain mini-card.

Library card with mini-card for keychain.

That got me thinking about what wonderful places libraries were to me as a child. My parents took me to the library regularly as a very small child, and I got my own card as soon as I learned how to write my name. Bringing home new stories to read was always great fun, as was scribbling my own “books” while imagining myself as an author with other kids happily borrowing my stories from the library.

Growing up, I took for granted that visiting the library was something I would always do. I’m still not entirely sure how I could have gone without thinking about it for so long that my card expired. When I realized what I had done, I felt kind of embarrassed, as if I had been guilty of neglecting an old friend. But thankfully, the library is a forgiving friend and is always willing to take people back.

5 Comments

  1. I miss our library – one of the early goverment austerity victims… They are magical places!

  2. I do not remember when I last visited a library…Internet and Kindle have pretty much become my “go to” for any research and reading. I should get a new card too!

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