Libraries are one of my favorite places to visit, especially my local libraries where, armed with a library card, I can leave with a stack of books to explore.
When I moved back to Arizona in 1999, I got my library card to the Mesa Public Library system the next day. When I relocated to Phoenix, getting a library card for the Phoenix Public Library was at the top of my list.
So when I heard that February is National Library Lovers Month, I thought I’d focus a post specifically on that. As a matter of fact, I took two of my boys to the library today when the third one was at soccer practice.
Wonderful things to discover at the library
One of my favorite things to do when I have a couple of hours to myself is go to the library and wander through the aisles and see what books catch my attention. Today it was a book about self-publishing a book. Last week it was an audio CD of a Napoleon Hill book, “How to Own Your Own Mind” that I’ve been listening when I’m driving solo in my car after drop-off or before pick-up.
I also picked up a book of Beatles songs for piano, a book about writing business plans and this cool book that was standing on the shelf that I thought the kids would enjoy, “Bent Objects,” by Terry Border. He creates scenes using random objects – you should check out his artwork, terryborder.com. It’s pretty incredible. He has a blog, too, bentobjects.blogspot.com, on which the last post, dated about three weeks before I discovered this book at the library, says that he’ll no longer be posting on the blog. His first post was in 2006 – this cool artwork has existed on that blog for 12 years and I had no idea. There’s so much out there to discover!
Anyway, back to the library and all the wonderful things you can discover there. Sure, I know the Internet is filled with information, too, but there’s just something special about a whole building filled with this information under one roof.
Speaking of a roof, that sadly reminds me that the main branch of the Phoenix Public Library, Burton Barr Central Library, has been closed since July 15, 2017, when it flooded during a storm. About 6,000 books were damaged, mostly older reference materials such as almanacs, atlases and encyclopedias, according to the library.
We’ve been going to that library for years – it has a huge children’s section and we usually would take at least one ride in the glass elevator to the top floor during each visit. The library has a great program for children over the summer and they have gotten to pet snakes and tortoises at these programs, as well as built with LEGOs, which are then on display in glass cases until the following week, and learned new crafts. When the kids were really young, the trip to the library was the day’s excursion, and we even had play dates there.
That library is supposed to reopen this July. We miss you, Burton Barr! Although we appreciate our smaller neighborhood library, too. And the one that’s in between our home and the boys’ schools.
Libraries offer so much more than books
In addition to all the wonderful books, there are also CDs, DVDs, classes and workshops. At one branch, I noticed that there was a Seed Library, where you can check out seeds for your garden! (You don’t need to return them.) Some of the other offerings, according to phoenixpubliclibrary.org, are active workstations where you can search the Internet while walking on a treadmill and learn about your energy usage by borrowing a TrickleStar® Plug-in Energy Monitor through SRP’s Energy Analyzer program.
I could go on and on about how much I love libraries, but I’ll conclude this post by thanking all those people who ensure that our community has such great libraries and all those librarians who are always so kind and patient. Happy National Library Lovers Month.