The first time I realized this I was eight. We were living in Sterling, Virginia at the time and they just built this new library. I was going through my classic movie monsters phase, as we all do, and they had all these kid books on them! Here was this magical building that gave me what I wanted. For free! I could get as many as I could carry. I loved this place so much I even volunteered for special programs like animal shows and reading to little kids, well littler than me. (I was eight so I mostly handed out programs to people walking in, but still.) It only lasted a short time because, you know, elementary school got in the way. But Mom would still take me at least once a week to get my fix.
As the years progressed, and we moved around even more, (I'm at an even dozen now), I had to find some sort of lifeline. Something that could stay consistent in a crazy world. Libraries provided that. The location might change but their services and the books stayed the same. When I went to college the third thing I did after moving into my dorm and finding the dining hall was to hot-tail it to the library, sit down at a table, and read. The strum and drang inside my head faded away surrounded by all those books. It was as close to home as I could get.
I wrote my books in libraries too. If you're so inclined to stalk me, check out the acknowledgments section of Mind Over Monsters. Those are my usual haunts. I'd just sit down at a table or study carol, put on my headphones, and write. It gives me a place to focus on the task at hand. (And on occasion shoot flirty looks at cute boys.) Libraries are a safe place to do research, be quiet, and find my next mental adventure. So imagine my glee when I came in to work on my next novel and finding my own book on the shelves. Even better when an hour later I went to see it and the book was gone and one of the librarians I know winked at me as I passed. So yes, I love libraries and the people who work in them. Always have, always will. They make what I do possible (and give me a free fix of my drug of choice). So support your local library. Volunteer. Donate books. If you see programs getting cut due to budget problems, speak out. You know you love them too.
Viva la biblioteca revolucion!
What about all of you? Share your library stories or just show your support in the comments section.