That was the question posed to me by the Natrona County Public Library in Casper, Wyoming as part of its upcoming 100th anniversary celebration this Spring. The librarians asked authors from across the country to submit personal letters that will be shared with the community.
To my surprise, the writing assignment turned out to be more fun that I had anticipated, and that's why I'm sharing my letter with you. As posted in Part 1 of today's blog, the feeling I had when receiving my very first library card was like the day we all earn our driver's license as teenagers. You feel a rush of freedom to read to your heart's delight and a sense of independence to actually have a card in your name to put in your wallet or purse.
Here is the rest of my letter to the Natrona County Public Library about my lifelong love affair with public libraries:
I come from a large family of ten siblings. My sisters and I would create imaginary worlds in our house’s basement and attics, in forts made in the fields, and in tree houses. The plots and characters we assumed were derived from those in the books that we read (from our town library). When I wasn’t playing with my sisters, I was usually found reading or writing stories of my own. I’ve often thought that were it not for the presence of books in my life, I might have been a lonely child.
I remain a voracious reader who continues to write my own imaginative tales. When I’m not working, I still love to wander into the local library. There is something comforting about the smell of book pages permeating the air and the sight of colorful book spines lined neatly on the shelves. I especially love witnessing a child’s reaction to their first library visit. It’s a reminiscent reminder that something magical always awaits at the library!
Forever a fan of the library,
Mary Alice MonroeWhat are your fond memories of your local library?
There is no doubt that modern technology is rapidly changing our reading habits. We can order books with the click of a mouse and download new releases onto our portable electronic reading devices. But, my hope is we will always cherish and support our local library. It's free entertainment, family friendly, a reliable resource, and a place where you can always feel a sense of community.