Terrific vision; beautiful execution.

This evening as I was eating dinner, I read the following:

“In 1885, a group of civic leaders came together in the belief that their community would be stronger and more prosperous if knowledge was shared rather than held as a private commodity.  To bring this vision to life, they began building public libraries to serve the population.”

Reading those two sentences brought up a tangible sensation of joy inside of me.  Ever since I was a small child (when my mom would take my sister and I to the library and the three of us would check out books by the bag-full – literally taking 50-100 books at a time, and reading them all within the week), I have had a special, personal relationship to the library.  As a youth I spent many hours in the Young Reader room of my city’s library.  At certain points in my college career, I was among the stacks of the campus library more than I was in my own dorm room.  As an adult in grad school, I spent numerous Sundays in a silent study carrel of my local community library.  Even now, when I want to have quiet, uninterrupted time to focus and be productive, I can count on the library to provide me with that space.

Equally importantly, I adore that the library is 100% free, and open to anyone and everyone.  Knowledge is a wonderful equalizer; and I *so* value that we have well-organized sources of facts and truth available to all who are willing to take the time and exert the energy to seek.

May we all find what we need.

And if we don’t, we can always ask a librarian.  : )


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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9 Responses to Terrific vision; beautiful execution.

  1. bendedspoon says:

    50-100 books?
    wow a real bookworm
    but it did bring out the best huh!


    • Stef says:

      Yes, it did. 😉 In first grade there was a reading “contest” to see which student could read the most books over the course of the entire academic year. At the end of the year I had read 2,049 books. I won. 🙂


  2. bendedspoon says:

    2,049 books and in 1st grade at that!
    if there are 10 months in 1 school year
    then you’re reading around 7 books in a day?
    where do you find the time to do it or how?!
    you have a photographic memory where your eyes just scan the pages?
    you’re gifted! who else in the family is like that?


    • Stef says:

      Well, keep in mind it was first grade; so the books were along the lines of Dr. Seuss. No “chapter books” at all; the average length of each book was 20 pages or so. Appropriate for first grade, certainly; but no “novels” as we think of them today. 🙂

      As for where we found the time (because for the contest, every book had to be read to an adult to ensure it was read fully, completely, and accurately), as my mom was making dinner each evening, I would sit up on the kitchen counter with my stack of books, and read as many as I could before the meal was complete. I also read to her each night before bed. Looking back, I figure I read probably 3-4 books over dinner, and another 3-4 at bedtime; so yes, 7 books a day sounds about right. 😉

      No, I don’t have a photographic memory (that would be so nice!). My memory is actually quite poor; I have to really work to remember things. I learn quickly; but then I work very hard to remember and retain. My dad, however, *does* have a photographic memory. I’m jealous…


  3. bendedspoon says:

    I just share your story with my kiddos
    and they are amazed and inspired to read more.
    They are reading right now!
    Thank you!


    • Stef says:

      Aw, that’s wonderful! How old are they? Tell them I say “hello”, and if they ever want to tell me about their books, I’d love to listen. 🙂


  4. bendedspoon says:

    “Hello too! Thank you for making kids like us smile!”
    That’s from them and here’s what they’re reading:
    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens – for 12yrs old
    The Prince and the Pauper – for 9yrs old
    The Tooth Book – for 7yrs old
    Fox in Socks – 3yrs old appreciating the pictures


    • Stef says:

      Aw, kids, you are SO welcome! Thanks for writing!
      * For the 12 year old: A book I like is “The Essential 55” by Ron Clark. While it is written for adults (primarily teachers), I think students can get a lot out of it, too. I really liked it.
      * For the 9 year old: One of my favorite books of all time is “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. He’s a French author, but the book has been translated into English. I adore it.
      * For the 7 year old: Another author similar to Dr. Seuss that I really like is Shel Silverstein; I think his poetry is both fun to read and fun to say out loud.
      * For the 3 year old: Good choice! I also really like “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”.

      Keep reading; it’s terrific! 🙂


  5. bendedspoon says:

    “Back to the bookstore now Mommy for Shel Silverstein!”
    We have the other 3 great books and only one from Shel Silverstein.
    We found ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’ on our last week’s book hunting.
    We indeed have fun reading aloud the funny poems!
    Thank you for sharing, will look for his other books!


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