Libraries When We Were Young

Recently I started wondering if anyone had managed to capture the childhood wonderment that I am sure we all felt about those most important of community institutions, the Library, in a poem. Surely it must be so. After a mere moment of searching I came across the following one that I adore. 


Because it takes me back to my youth and the fun times I spent as a child searching the shelves and the bins for books that grabbed my attention and took my fancy. It also reminds me of the laborious process I went through of writing my name and address on the issuing forms (this was before the electronic age came to public libraries). Trust me – I was young with an unusual last name and street moniker that seemed to pose me a few problems spelling wise! But I got there in the end. 

Anyway – I hope this makes you think back to those happy times and experiences you had when you were surrounded by books and all the possibilities, ideas and joys they brought into your life!

My First Memory (Of Librarians) by Nikki Giovani

This is my first memory:
A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky
wood floor
A line of green shades—bankers’ lights—down the center
Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply
too short
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.

(Credit: “My First Memory (of Librarians)” from Acolytes by Nikki Giovanni 2007)

(Header Image: Sarah Kreig)

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