February 18, 2009
Theme Thursday - Library
My dad was a librarian so the word Library was probably one of the first words I knew how to say, recognize and spell.
Dad was the librarian at our small town’s Public Library. From a Dickensian upbringing in war-time England, he eventually found himself in rural Ontario, first running the Public Library from the basement of the Town Hall, then championing for a new library to be built and finally heading a library system tending to the needs of 75 district libraries and drop-off centres and 20 schools.
It was in school around 1970 when all films borrowed from the library came with a song, “It’s the latest, it’s the greatest, it’s the library.” and a 30 second clip of the library my dad fought to have built, complete with an action shot of Dad date-stamping books. Kids in the classroom would shout, “Hey, Hazel, it’s your Da-ad!”
When my mum was working, the library was sort of my afterschool babysitter. When I was about 10 I vowed to read all the Juvenile Fiction. I know I read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder, but I don’t think I went around the room alphabetically.
Fast forward 25 years and I found myself living with a man who is the Anti-Library. Whereas my dad would rarely buy a book – why would he, my spouse never uses the library. A real proponent of used bookstores he would rather buy a book and keep it. Forever. When we last counted we had 1,650 books. So I'm still surrounded by books.
Maybe in this age of belt-tightening libraries will experience a renaissance. Dad would have liked that.