It is time for part two of our staff's earliest recollections of the library. First up is Librarian Kelsey's memories of coming to the Tillamook County Library as a child. For her, it was "really about the memory of sitting down for storytime. I can still see the shape of the room and the little raised box of carpet around all the shelves, a shade of orange, and then I remember getting book recommendations from Kathy when it was over and the kids and parents were milling about." Kelsey also fondly remembers the special days when library employee Judy was the saran wrap expert for post-storytime treats. "Judy was always in charge of wrapping the cookies or treats for storytime, and I remember this because it was actually kind of difficult for my child hands to get her saran wrap packages open, trying to figure out where the end was and not having lots of patience when a cookie was at stake."
Speaking of Judy, she still works for our library and she has some memories of her own. "Back in the good ole days we had a great neighborhood of families with kids that always interacted with each other. It was a big deal to get our very own library card. I remember we would all walk the four or five blocks to the library and were so excited with the books we could take home with us. I loved the smell of new books, and it was a special treat if we went to story time. In those days they used a check out punch card machine. When they punched our card, it had a metal strip and if you were fast enough you could tattoo your hand with the ink."
Courtney, who works at the library in Pacific City, has great memories of her elementary school library. "I found my favorite childhood books at the school library, Scrub Dog of Alaska and Gentle Ben by Walt Morey. I loved these books so much that I had my mom find the rest of the other books Walt Morey wrote so I could read those as well. And then I was hooked." She credits those early years in the library as being instrumental in helping her decide to pursue a career as a librarian.
For Laurie, her best memories are associated with the feel of a real book in her hands. "While I understand the appeal of E-books, for me to hold the book in my hand and smell the scent of the paper, turning the pages as a rite of accomplishment, will always be my first love." Laurie also is very appreciative of how much the librarians helped her children feel special when they went to the library.
Kealani also mentioned the smell of library books as something she associates with childhood visits to the library. "It’s the smell of thousands of old books, books written on paper that no one uses any more, with covers that have been hand bound with actual thread. It’s slightly musty, but not moldy. It’s cozy, like being swaddled in an old afghan made by your grandma." One of Kealani's best memories from childhood was the day she was handed her first library card. "I still remember the feeling I had when the woman handed me my very own card, complete with my own signature on the back. I was so proud, so excited. I felt like a real grown-up. A plastic card, with my name on it. It’s the little things in life, truly."