Growing up in a rural town of 400, our library was part of our school. As a child, this was a place my friends and I would explore physically and with our imaginations… what would we become some day? Having a limited selection of books at this library, my mom subscribed us to a books-by-mail borrowing organization. When books were expected, each day I’d walk down our long gravel driveway to check the mailbox for the package. The day the small bundle of books actually did arrive was almost as good as Christmas. This anticipation and excitement associated with books growing-up has encouraged the reverence I have for books today. I strive to pass along this love to my three girls as we read daily from the substantial personal “library” housed in their bedroom, as well as through frequent family visits to several of the Athens County libraries. The Athens County libraries are very welcoming to children and provoke many of those happy thoughts I associate with the library as a child, but they also offer so much more. Not only can my girls find a tremendous number of books to satisfy their interests, they can also borrow music, movies, and video games; meet their friends; build “tall towers”; work puzzles; present a puppet show; enjoy story time, songs and games; and their personal favorite… dress up like a story-book character. (These aren’t the type of libraries to “shhhhh…” you.) Each time we leave the library, I know the children have had a wonderful experience and the foundation for new book lovers is being built. It is my hope this shared experience will be passed along to their children someday in whatever form the future may take.