Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Novel Leader

This year's Librarian of the Year is one unique leader. I read her story in the Baltimore Sun and was impressed with the way she got things to happen and advanced her library and the cause of reading. And I loved the story at the end about her dogs and her award (anyone who has read my stories of both selling my first book and hitting the New York Times list knows that I have a dog who also has a habit of turning those monumental moments into carpet-cleaning days).
I love libraries. I absolutely love walking into them and being surrounded by books. What I love most about libraries is the possibilities in them. You can find anything in a library. A two-hundred-year-old book, or a book that came out just two days ago. A history of the walking catfish, or a history of cats.

They're incredible places, with children discovering Clifford the Big Red Dog and teenagers working on the dreaded research paper.

My problem with libraries, and the reason I frequent bookstores more than libraries, is that I have this little problem with giving the books back. It's not that I mean to keep the books. I just forget, or I get attached. And before I know it, those fines have added up to a monumental amount.

When I was fourteen, I was working on my 9th grade research paper and ended up forgetting to return over a dozen library books. Well into the summer, I got a bill for close to $100 from the library for all those WAY overdue library books. There were so many, I couldn't even carry them all in to the building in one trip.
By the time I came in with the second load, the librarian gave me a stern look and said, "Oh. You must be Shirley."
I have been marked ever since as She Who Does Not Always Remember to Return Her Library Books.
I have since learned to mark return dates in my Outlook calendar. And the library has created systems to work with offenders like me, such as e-mail and phone reminders. I'm better, and my fees no longer rival the national debt. So, it's probably a good thing I don't live in the same town as the Librarian of the Year because I think she'd be embarrassed to admit the connection ;-)
PS: Recipes are coming back today or tomorrow! Also, are any of you reading/watching the Secret that was discussed on Oprah's show? Very interesting stuff!

1 comment:

  1. I thought I was the only one guilty of keeping my library books for yonks! It's nice to know there are others out there.

    One of my most embarrassing library moments was when I took a pile of books back [I had kept them for weeks]. This was in the days when they issued you with penny tickets. Well, there I was, in the front the queue as the librarian kept pulling and pulling this long string of tickets from its container. I must have looked a right wally walking out with a mass of tickets in my arms. :)



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