Speech language pathologist
So many libraries, so little time. Although our affairs have had their rocky moments, I always come back to you. I can remember when I was a child and my small town library could not keep up with my voracious appetite for reading. I tried to borrow The Diary of Anne Frank, but was denied. My heart was broken (until my mom borrowed the book for me), but I forgave you. The elementary and high school libraries were also enticing, even with the overpowering presence of reference books attempting to divert my attention from the popular fiction and periodicals. Of course, love affairs must change to survive, and so, I resisted the lure of all types of pleasure reading during frequent visits to my college libraries – straight to the journals and microfilms in the health sciences sections I went, not even daring to glance at the alluring covers of new titles I passed on my way. I must admit that microfilm almost destroyed my love of libraries, especially when my first job following college required me to feed that dreaded machine! Somehow, my love of libraries endured. As I moved around the country, I met many libraries, each with something to offer me. The beautifully designed facility in Woodland Hills, CA was lovely to behold, but difficult to access after budget cuts. The Denver branch on the 17th Avenue Parkway was stately and imposing – borrowing materials was an intimidating process. The tiny converted banks in Vermont and North Carolina were humble and charming. The main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library was a comforting friend when my husband was recovering from surgery at the nearby hospital. My relationship with the library changed after I became a parent, as relationships often do. Visits to several branches of the Athens County Library System became more frequent, and, although my taste in books, music, and film had not changed, my borrowing habits certainly did. Preschool activities led to preteen chess games and, finally, teen volunteering opportunities, occasionally allowing me time to interact with the library on my own again – learning about computers, browsing, and requesting materials. In the past few years, dear library, I know I have become distant – not because I no longer care, but because I can now contact you online – whenever I want and wherever I happen to be! It has been an exciting development for me and I think it has strengthened our bond. Just during the past week, when I visited the digital bookmobile at the Athens branch, I learned new ways to access your materials on a variety of devices – increasing our opportunities to be together. I hope that you agree and that our affair continues for years to come.