Favorite Library Memories

When I was in Texas for TLA a few weeks ago, one of the questions on the panel was “What’s your favorite library memory?”

This meant something for the other authors on the panel than it did to me, seeing as I was the only librarian up there, and it seemed like a pretty easy answer for all of them. For me, on the other hand, it was a bit more complicated. I’ve worked in libraries for over two decades, and I’ve been going to them for over four. How in the world was I supposed to pick just one memory that was my favorite out of all of those?

(In general, asking me to pick the best/favorite of anything is a recipe for me to go into decision-lock. It often feels like someone asking me which one of my children is my favorite. It’s unanswerable.)

The question has stuck with me since then, and I thought it deserved a blog post all on its own today. Not my single favorite library memory, but some of the nominees for the position.

  • When I was a teenager, I would go to the public library and choose which book to read based on how thick it was. At the time, I was reading pretty much each and every epic fantasy out there. True, every now and then a thick book wouldn’t have a dragon or a warrior on the cover, but by and large, you could tell the fantasy books based on size alone. I loved going and checking out a stack of those at a time. I miss being able to read that much, and I wonder how in the world I had enough time to do it back then. Have I gotten slower at reading over the years?
  • Working at Orem Public Library, my favorite desk to staff was hands down the media section. Being able to sit there for hours, listening to any music I wanted to, and recommending movie after movie to people as they all came in on the hunt for the next great thing? It was fantastic. I would love to be able to do that again sometime.
  • Working at BYU’s library in the Periodicals Department, it was a blast being there with about 25 other undergrads. We all knew each other, and we all got along. (Or at least we got along in my memories. Let’s assume I’m right.) I remember talking with some of my coworkers the day I was going out on my first date with Denisa, telling them how she was from Slovakia (though of course I said it in an extravagantly absurd manner: Slooovakiaaaaaaa.) She came in to check something out that afternoon before our date, and she looked incredible enough to inspire me to wash my car and wear nicer clothes that evening. That was a great day.
  • When I became the Vice-President of the Maine Library Association, things with the organization were headed in a downward direction. We’d dipped below 300 members, our conferences were attracting fewer people, and many librarians were questioning exactly why they should belong at all. I definitely didn’t do it singlehandedly, but I’m super proud of the fact that we switched that trend over the next six years, to the point where it has over 700 members today.
  • I remember the copy of The Hobbit that my school library had back in elementary school. I still remember looking for it on the shelf time and time again, and how much I enjoyed returning to it. (I also really remember loving any book on dinosaurs, for what it’s worth.)

That’s just a few of mine. I’d love to know what some of your favorite library memories are.

4 thoughts on “Favorite Library Memories”

  1. Kristy Kugler

    One of my favorite library memories was from fourth grade. I was a library page, and got to skip part of class several times a week to go help in the school library. My favorite part was shelving books, because I could see fun books coming back in and then could go check them out for myself later!

    1. Yeah, being able to see what other people have read is a great perk. Not that we know who read what, but that we know something was interesting enough to someone to check it out in the first place. I still love that.

  2. Don’t remember a specific time. Loved reading and when I was a teenager it was the only way for me to get books. I remember I really liked historical fiction. Still do.

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