In light of Hug a Librarian Day, I thought I’d take a moment to appreciate the role of the public library in my life. In recent years, I haven’t spent as much time in public libraries as I have in academic, but that isn’t to say that I don’t have a special spot in my heart for them. The public library is going through a shift in its role to the public. Some say that Google threatens the existence of the public library, others say it’s going to be a “third space”. I see it as a place to serve its community, for people to come and access whatever information they need.
I for one, am very grateful that my mom took me and my siblings to the library every week as kids. I developed a real love for reading because of those weekly trips. She’d just let me loose in the children’s section (probably to the chagrin of the librarians) and I would find a pile of books to take home that week. Seriously, she would leave me and my sister there sometimes while she went to the grocery store, but I guess she thought it was a safe enough place for us. In the public library setting, I can only imagine the many different hats librarians must wear. I appreciate the patience that the librarians had in helping me find information for my homework assignments, the awesome summer reading programs that rewarded us for filling our reading logs with mini-pizzas, and the safe, comfortable atmosphere in which I could roam the stacks and find new reading material.
The public library has played a special role in my development as a person; I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. This is my virtual hug to all the public librarians who provide wonderful services to their communities!