Being a stay-at-home mom with my son and daughter was important and enjoyable, but it was time to send them off to preschool and kindergarten. Moving from Pennsylvania to Northern Virginia during their early years, it was difficult to become a part of this very transient, high-powered culture just outside of Washington, DC. Formerly, for a major retailer I worked in finance, but the atmosphere here differed, and I felt uncomfortable with my skills.
I have been going to my local library since I was in school. (32 1/2 yrs ago) And I am still going.
I had to quit my job. It did not make sense to a lot
of people, least of all to my family, but working for
that company was robbing me of my sanity and my
self-esteem. Every morning I awakened with a sense of
dread of going into that dark place. I was in a
strange, unhappy place and although I had only been
there just over two years, I knew that I had to
escape. Throughout the day, I felt the negativity
flowing from people, who like me, really hated working
at the company; except they had been working there for
The Center of the World - In the opening scene of the movie The Mystical Masseur, the pundit and main character wanders through the library at Oxford excitedly and animatedly proclaiming it "...the center of the world. It all begins here..it all leads back to here." My sentiments exactly.
The library is not just a building filled with books like it was when I was a child. Then, it was a huge book-filled paradise where I could wander and browse and bring home a big pile of books to keep for a whole week! And, sometimes, if mom took us on at the right time, a story would come alive by one of the librarians or a volunteer reading to the little group of kiddies gathered at her feet. Now, though, as an adult,
the library holds ever so much more.
The library has definitely made a significant difference in my life!
Growing up in a small town, we didn’t have much contact with the rest of the world in the 1950’s to 1970’s. Other than public schools, our library was the central focal point for learning. We didn’t have a movie theatre, book store & even television was limited. It was not a technical world then.
There are many libraries that have changed my life. The medical research library of Oregon Health and Science University helped me find what current research has been done with melanoma. I always need to stay abreast of advances in the field; whether vaccinations, preventative
testing, or results of clinical trials, it is imperative that I, as a survivor, mother, and wife, spend time keeping informed.
Among my earliest memories is an evening visit to a Denver Public Library branch with my mother. I remember walking out with an armful of picture books and a bookmark the librarian had given me. My mother told me stories about her own girlhood visits to the library branch in the neighborhood where she grew up. We went to visit my grandparents and Mom drove us by that boarded up Carnegie library, just west of downtown Denver, pointing out the overgrown bushes she used to read under on hot summer days as a little girl.
I have always had a love of reading. My first memories of the library were of my father taking me there on Fridays when he went to the bank. I felt so important as I stood at the desk and checked out my books. I read every Nancy Drew book they had along with hundreds of others. I remember going into the adult library one day and being in awe as I tip toed around.
During Junior High School, I volunteered in the school library and in High School, I often used the library as a place study and do research for school assignments.
The projects of Brooklyn, New York encouraged me to read. I read to escape the smells of the hallways, the frigid air of the evenings when the heat was turned off, and the grating sounds of the neighbors fighting, heard too clearly through the common walls. Books were my sustenance, the inspirational juice coursing through my mind, the nutrition of a city child yearning for safety and harbor.