Looking at the Jefferson Public Library through the eyes of a 5-year-old child in the early 1960s, I can remember walking up the immense concrete steps to an impressive arched doorway with an even bigger door. Before we walked inside, my mom put her finger to her lips and said “Shhh… while we are here, you need to be very quiet.”
My first impression inside was a huge desk and a stern looking librarian. I’m not sure if I even said anything while we were there, but I remember being overwhelmed by the enormous shelves full of books and the smell of the cloth covers.
I read Dr. Seuss books, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and Nancy Drew. I remember the smiling face of Mrs. Bryan, the librarian, who helped me to choose the next book in the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley.
The library was a source of information for my middle and high school years and I depended on the librarians to help me find the best information for my school reports.
As a parent, I took my children to the public library and before we walked through the doors, I said, “Shhh… you need to be on your best behavior while we are here,” and I introduced my daughters to the wonders of the children’s library.
I chose Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt books for my grandmother to read, when she couldn’t go to the library. I checked out the landscaping, flower and vegetable garden books when it was time to plant my garden. I checked out picture books and children’s DVDs for free time at our home day care. And always, I was in awe of the public library and the librarians who always seemed to find the perfect book for me.
Years later the opportunity arose to become a librarian at the very same library where years earlier I had stood in wonder. I am still in awe of our public library and the many treasures it holds within its doors.
And now, when each child comes in to get his or her first library card, I’m one of the librarians that welcomes him or her to the library. It’s the beginning of a new and exciting adventure for them, and it can be an adventure for you, too. Visit your local library today, and introduce your children to the wonders of the library.
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.