As a child, my mom would often take my sister and me to the Sulphur Springs Public Library. It was a treat. We were allowed to check out one or two books each, that we kept for a week and then returned the following Saturday. We loved going to the library!
If we were particularly well-behaved, we might get to go upstairs and see the music box collection. This necessitated getting a staff member with the key to escort us up the stairs to the northwest corner of the building to a room filled with beautiful musical boxes. These treasurers came in all sorts of themes and sizes. Some where porcelain, some were gold, some had moving parts, but they all were works of art – drawing you in with their beauty.
I realize that not every public library offers a unique collection, such as our music boxes. But I do know that every library offers thousands of chances for a child to explore their imagination, learn something new, start a lifelong hobby, and gain experience of using reference materials. Whether a child grows up to be an athlete, a rock star, a chemical engineer, or a police officer, they will have a skill of value when they need entertainment or information.
A few years ago I was teaching at a class at a local university. On the first day of class, we were going over the syllabus. An adult learner inquired about the research unit, asking if we would be going to the library. She had never been to a library and she was mortified. This stunned me. I could not imagine being in my 40s and never having been to a library.
One of my favorite aspects of a public library is that it is free. It is so expensive for families to go out for entertainment these days. This is a great option for fun and saving money.
And, for me, not only do I love to save money, but I love to keep clutter in my home to a minimum. Borrowing a book allows me to enjoy the book without having to find a home for it in my house.
If you live in Hopkins County, for a small fee, you can get a new library card with Charlie Brown on the front. This limited offering is fun and festive, which to me, is a great representation of what a library is…fun and festive! And don’t forget free!
Update: Yesterday the library unveiled its new iPad kiosk of the music box collection. Now you can hear recordings of the music boxes. What a wonderful addition to the collection. I am very proud of all that Hope Cain is accomplishing at the library!