One of my strongest childhood sensory memories is of sitting outside in all of the weather conditions that Minnesota could provide, astride one of the cement lion statues guarding the steps of my local library. There I would sit in multiple worlds: awaiting the familiarity of my parents, savoring the space and the librarians who provided me with great riches and dreams, and immersed in the world my book had created for me. My parents often had to honk the car horn several times, yell, send one of my brothers, or generally get annoyed before I could be yanked from the book to be cognizant of their waiting car.
It was magnificent.
Today I still turn to the library – now the Toledo-Lucas County Library —for solace, for entertainment, for an alternative to responsibility, for a place to go when my kids are antsy, for thrills, and for comfort.
It is magnificent.
From Kevin Smokler, author of Practical Classics
When I was a child, I thought the library held every book and I could read them all.
When I was a teenager, I thought the library held more books than I could ever read but they’d be waiting for me, like old friends until I came back.
When I was in college, I came back because the library held my people.
When I met my wife, she told me her first job was in a library. I was jealous but enchanted, certain.
When I became a writer, the library was my host mentor, reminding me that your best work comes from why you started.
When I visit my hometown, I visit that library, to say thank you, for all the books and wired knowledge, for quiet and buzzing, concrete and steel light enough to catapult dreams.
When I say thank you to the library, it’s for all of those things. And for introducing me to my future.