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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why I Love the Library by Amanda Early

Congratulations to Amanda Early who is the winner of our National Library Week writing contest!  Our judges agreed that Amanda's entry strongly exemplified the role of the library as a constant, stable and timeless resource to be treasured throughout our lives.  Her experiences were those felt by so many of us who went to the library as a child, who hung out at the library as a teen and who rely upon the library as adults.

Thank you to all of the people who submitted such lovely entries in our contest!

Why I Love the Library
As I walk in the doorway the cool air hits my face and I am surrounded by the unique and soothing smell of books. The atmosphere is quiet and calm. Stepping through those doors makes me feel as if I am stepping into another world, away from the stress and pressures of everyday life.
Even as a child one of my favorite places to go was the library. I grew up in Muskogee and the library there was a large one. On the first floor was where the children’s books were located. They had a small area where they had puppet shows for the kids and I remember there being a fountain where we could throw pennies and make a wish.  I begged my mother to take me almost every time we made a trip to town.

One of my favorite library memories is when I was finally able to go upstairs and check out books from the “grownup books”. Going up those stairs was the most wonderful feeling and opened up a whole new world of books to lose myself into. As I got older my mom would run errands in town and I would stay at the library to find books to check out until she was done and came back to get me. It always seemed that even if I had been there for hours I would still never have enough time!
When I was in high school, one of my favorite places to go between classes was to the school library. I was such a favorite of the school librarians that they would even let me borrow books they had at home. I remember being thrilled to be a library aide. It was my favorite time of the day!

I moved to Stillwater when I started college at OSU and have lived here ever since. I remember the overwhelming feeling of walking into Edmon Low library for the first time. I had never seen so many books under one roof! As with most college students, that library became my home away from home.

In the years since I have moved to Stillwater the Stillwater Public Library has become one of my favorite refuges to escape from the worries of my day. I love the feeling I get when I discover a new author I haven’t read before and try to catch up on all the books that I missed, or rediscover an old favorite that I read years ago and had forgotten about. I adore attending programs that the library holds about things that I find interesting and I eagerly count down the days until the library sale each Fall and Spring!

Henry Ward Beecher once said, “A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.” I agree with this wholeheartedly. Since my childhood the library has been a constant in my life and I cannot imagine existing without it.

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