Who remembers their first trips to a library? I have such fond memories of going to the library as a kid and I am certain it shaped my career choices as an adult. I thought it would be interesting if I asked the Tillamook County Library staff to share some of their early memories so I can highlight their responses in the Tales from the Library column.
I will start with my story. I grew up in a small town in Iowa and we were lucky enough to have been gifted a Carnegie Library. It was a beautiful, impressive granite building with creaky wooden floors, but the only access to the children's library in the basement was by descending a steep, dimly-lit, rickety spiral staircase! I wonder what committee designed that? But once you got into the room, you were treated to rows and rows of exciting books to check out! Another great memory was finally getting permission to go there all by myself. It was a 15-minute ride on my Schwinn Stingray bicycle. However, the punch line was I always checked out too many books to carry back on my bike, so my mom would have to come and pick me up in the car anyway!
Library Assistant, Liz, seemed to have the same problem I had as a kid...the desire to check out too many books! "I remember mostly my parents telling me, 'no that's too much', when I came up with a huge pile of books to check out, but they never gave me a limit so technically it's their fault that I took advantage every time." And as a side note, I can tell you with a smile that to this day, Liz always has the biggest pile of books waiting for her on the hold shelf!
Angel from the Bay City Library remembers being really impressed with the clear book jackets that library books had. "They were smooth under my fingertips and made a crinkly sound when I opened them. The books at home didn’t sound like that! These sensations told me that those weren’t regular books in my hands, they were special. They were library books! I’ve loved the feeling and sound of library books ever since. In fact, when I covered my first book as a library worker, I got a bit emotional. How lucky am I to be able to help turn regular books into library books!"
This next story from Jess, our bookmobile driver, contains a bit of serendipity because her best memories come from visiting the bookmobile when it stopped at her school, Nehalem Elementary. "The big bus of books would pull up outside the school doors and then we would go in as a class and pick out a book or two. That was the best part, a new adventure each time. Even though there wasn't much space inside the bus, the books on the Bookmobile seemed like they were extra special. So, I guess I was destined to work here at Tillamook County Library in the Bookmobile."
That's all the memories we have room for this week. We will highlight some other staff stories in the near future, so stay tuned for more! If any members of the public want to share their memories, firstname.lastname@example.org is my email address!