Friday, July 16, 2010

The library

I love the library. I have always loved the library.

Let me back up. I should not be writing right now. I have places to go, things to do. My children want blueberry pancakes, because they never eat enough breakfast. I have no time for writing right now.

But it's been so long, and I've so wanted to write. So I'm throwing caution and time management to the wind. Besides, I happen to know that the two adults who will be waiting on me if I'm late would really like to see a fresh post on this here blog. In fact, they've probably long ago given up hope that I will ever type another line again.

On we go.

The pictures on this post do not come from the library I'm writing about. I didn't take a single picture, although I wanted to. But there were so many exciting things to do, that I didn't get a chance.

There are two library branches in our town: South Branch and Main Branch. I've almost always gone to the Main Branch, especially in the last ten years or so. But then my good friend Edie told me how wonderful the recently-remodeled (ahem, as in ten year ago) South Branch is. So last week when rain seemed imminent, I packed up the children and headed off to investigate. But I was a little skeptical that anything could surpass my own Beloved Main Branch.

I must say, in general, that I would probably love any library. The shelves and shelves of books, the quiet tables, the children's section. But my Beloved Main Branch has that special smell. Do you know what I'm talking about? Maybe it's just me. I know I'm extremely scent oriented. I especially love the smell of their elevator.

So when I entered the South Branch, I knew that none of those special smells would be there, and I assumed that this would stunt my experience. But then I saw the gleaming wooden shelves, the brilliant organization (which I'm also a sucker for), and the children's section. There was a tree in the children's section. A TREE. (Yes, it was pretend. But it reached the ceiling and looked real.) And a two-level clubhouse that had built in bookshelves, cushions for reclining on, and an observation deck. I never wanted to leave. Oh yeah, and the kids loved it too.

The windows of this library (and I'm guessing, the light fixtures as well) had been inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, and did a fabulous job of bringing the outside in (that's a Country Living term: "bring the outside in." I'm practicing to be a caption writer for that magazine. Or maybe Better Homes and Gardens.) And unlike my Beloved Main Branch, this library was surrounded by grass, trees, and sky. Not buildings and streets. It was enchanting. Did I mention I never wanted to leave?

There was even a Snack Zone, which seemed so amazingly rebellious to me, because at my Beloved Main Branch, you were never allowed to enter the library with so much as a stick of gum. Cokes were right out. To have an actual Snack Zone (yes, I understand the importance of protecting books from snacks. Yes, I know how many parenthesis I've been using. Yes, and italics. I feel strongly about libraries.) seemed so progressive, so too-good-to-be-true. Because really, is there any better combination than books and food?

Time is getting away from me, just like it did there. The kids have eaten their pancakes and now need to be dressed.

All right, I think I'll end this renegade post with another plug for the dreamy children's book The Library, by Sarah Stewart. All of her books are somewhat magical, but this one is my absolute favorite. Even adults like having it read to them. Go check it out today.