So, we here at the Diamond in the Window (and if there's something more satisfying than using the royal we I don't know what it is) have decided to institute a way to honor those amazing libraries we come upon, and since we're not exactly massive travelers, that means relying on YOU guys, our most excellent readers, to let us know about your dear library loves. So email us at thediamondinthewindow (at) gmail (dot) come and let us know your favorites! And why! And send us a picture, too! And then in some excellent other reality we will all meet there and take out some books together.
This weeks lovely musing is from Kiera. And if I ever get it together to be a normal children's books blog and do give-aways and stuff like that, she will be the first one to get one because this is so unutterably moving.
When I was a kid, my sister and I spent at least one full day a week
at the Laconia Public Library. It was less than 100
years old when I was little but it looked like an old fairy castle,
and it felt magical, with its spires and turrets. Opening the front doors led you to the main
reading room, where old men sat with their papers. The librarian
there smiled at us as we passed her on our way to the children's room.
The children's room was open and airy, with lots of nooks for tucking
yourself away. The shelves were bursting with everything from Judy Blume to Lewis Carroll
to lesser-known but still loved authors like Ruth Chew, Alison
Farthing, and Jane Langton. I fell in love with Scott O'Dell there,
and also John Gardner, Beverly Cleary, Susan Cooper, Katherine
Paterson, Tomie DePaola, and many others. The librarians had
exquisite and varied taste and they must have remembered what it was
like to be a child because their recommendations were always spot on.
We developed a pattern over the years. My sister and I would
first gravitate towards the creepy but evocative Lonely Doll book,
after which we would separate and roam around. Hours later, with our
arms full of books, we would make our way
back to our mother and the librarian, who usually had some extra
surprise book to add to the pile. On the way home, our car could have
passed by an entire road-side circus and we wouldn't have noticed; our
minds were already too far away, engrossed in whatever we were
reading. The car was absolutely silent, like its own library.
I don't remember a time when I didn't know that library. I grew up
there. And even though I live in New York City, with its gorgeous
Beaux-Arts library and its huge central Brooklyn library, none of that
can ever top my memories of the Laconia Public Library, the most
beautiful and magical library ever made.
You want to go there, right? If not for the library for those moments when you could just do something you loved without being supposed to do anything else. So send us your libraries, hither and yon! It feels even more important now, when it's so hot out and there seems to be no respite, and then you remember that that's exactly what a library is: respite.