Dear Library: From Linda W.

Retired

Dear Library,

My library story began over fifty years ago when my mother took me to the Carnegie Library in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Many visits to that wonderful, old building with its thick glass floors upstairs and a scary, wrought-iron winding staircase leading up to those upper floors fueled both my interest in reading and in architecture. These visits, along with time spent in several school libraries throughout my young years, placed libraries and their wonderful contents (books) high on my list of beloved places and things. As a young, married woman with a son, whom I early introduced to books and libraries, I moved around a lot. A library in an old log cabin; a small town library that my husband predicted I would read out in a year had it not turned out to have been a branch of a county system; even a bookmobile — all fed my reading habit over the years. When I moved to Coolville, the library was in an old bank, which is now the Town Hall. It later was moved to its current location into a more modern bank building. Appropriate places – as both banks and libraries house that which is valuable. The Coolville Library has always been different. No more whispering and shushing. The library was the village meeting place. People came and went, chatting and gossiping while exchanging their books. Children “hung out” with their friends. Puzzles were placed on a table and many joining in to complete them. Meetings of all sorts were held in the conference room. A quilt club, a garden club, a book club, circle meetings and lunches took place there. The library was the social hub of the village. My first years living here when I was asked if I knew “so and so” in Coolville, my question was “Do they hang out at the library or attend the Methodist Church?” These were the people I first met in town. When the budget cuts threatened our library, I attended the county library board meeting and explained the importance of our library to our village well-being. My final words were “I consider the library my best spent tax dollars.” Our library now operates on shortened hours, but is always busy with people who apparently share my belief in the value of libraries.

One comment on “Dear Library: From Linda W.”

  1. I remember this library in Parkersburg! Was so sad when they shut down. Loved those see-through glass-blocked floors.

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