My family moved to Jefferson when I was 4 years old. My mother had taken us to the library often, and we were in awe when we visited the larger library in our new town. I remember — as do many of you — walking up the steps to the front door of the Carnegie building.
Soon the new addition opened, and my sister and brother and I began exploring the new children’s department upstairs. Frances Bryan, the children’s librarian, knew my favorite books. She would set out a book for me on the long, slanted wooden reading table with its matching bench in front of the beautiful big window. There I would read the latest adventures of Edith, the lonely doll, and her companion Mr. Bear.
I begged to be read to, and once I learned to read I was completely enthralled with the stories I discovered in books. I could hardly wait to go to the library each week to get new books. Little did I know that was the very place I would spend my days when I grew up.
Most librarians will tell you the part of their job they most enjoy is opening the boxes of new books. My childhood excitement returns when I hold a book for the first time, with its glossy cover and “new book” smell. I imagine opening it and getting carried away by the story and escaping my adult-life problems for just a little while.
Children today still experience the wonder of their world through books and reading. We librarians get to witness their bursts of joy on a daily basis. I am so thankful that the library continues to be an important part of bringing that experience of the newness of learning to children.
Little more than 150 years ago, a large percentage of our world population was illiterate. Today, for free, we can all experience the wonder of books and reading at our public libraries. And so in this season of giving thanks for our many blessings, I hope among them you will count the freedom to read, the joy of learning, and public libraries, as I do.Jefferson Public Library
200 West Lincoln Way
386-2835 Adult Dept
386-4415 Children’s Dept
Mon. and Wed.: 1 – 8 p.m.
Tues. and Thurs.:
11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday: 1 – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.