When I was a little girl, I lived in Lubbock. I went to the Mahon Library every Saturday with my father. Some of my favorite memories with him are at this library. I remember the way the books smelled and how kids would crowd around the shelves to find their favorite books. My favorite was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. I would get the record and the book and listen to it on the library record player. We went to storytime in this large dark room with a big tree inside of it. Puppets would come out of the trunk of the tree. I thought it was magic. I remember sitting there and listening to books and the librarian would sit on a tree stump and read. After, my father and I would go to the fiction section and he would pick out some books of his own. I remember the day I got my own library card and how I thought it was so wonderful. My father kept it for me so I wouldn’t lose it. Then I would take the books home and make my father read them to me over and over again. Recently, I found a copy of the Alexander book and gave it to him for Christmas. When he opened it he groaned and asked if I was going to make him read it again. This is when I first fell in love with libraries. I loved the smell, the books, the quiet nature of the place mixed in with the controlled chaos of the storytime. I loved the way the librarian helped me and how the circulation staff smiled at us. We were important to them. They knew us. They liked us. They wanted us to come back and check out more books.
When I was a teen, I lived in a small town called Willis. The library at the time was in a house. When I entered high school, the house was torn down and we had a new building. It was wonderful. They had three computers, video cassettes, and music to check out. The librarian would let us volunteer and we would help in the summers and on breaks. When I was a senior, they hung a portrait I painted in the library. It wasn’t very good, but I remember being really proud and telling everyone my artwork was on display.
I hear people talk about the Emily Fowler Central Library the way I talk about the Mahon Library and the Willis Library. People loved the treehouse, the atrium, and most of all they love the memories those things created. We have so many opportunities to make people fall in love with our libraries. I hope you love whichever library you choose to go to as much I love the one from my memory and the one I work at now. Here are some photos from the Emily Fowler Central Library. I hope they bring back some fond memories for you.
Atrium at the Emily Fowler Central Library
Storytime with Ms. Martha
WyLaina Polk is the manager of the Emily Fowler Central Library and was always meant to be a librarian.