About The Library
My Library Story
Writer and founder of Latitudes Storytelling Festival
"My love for the library is something I’ve passed
on to my kids . . .”
Every once in a while a memory blindsides me. I’ll hear the crinkle of a plastic bag, and remember waiting expectantly as a teacher opened one to reveal the treasures from the latest trip to the library. Sometimes it’s a smell, a slightly damp or dusty smell of a well-thumbed book, or the acidic ink smell of a recently printed one. Thumbing through the card catalogue in search of one book or another.
These are favourite memories. I have spent a lot of time in libraries in my lifetime, but it feels like not enough time. From the single-file trips to the school library, where Mrs. Elliott would sing to us, “Good morning, good morning, good morning to you/Good morning, good morning and how do you do?” to working in a community library in Stanmore, England, I have not spent enough time in libraries.
I sing Mrs. Elliott’s song to my daughter sometimes when she wakes in the morning. We love books in our house, and stories. Not reading a bedtime story is the ultimate parental threat.
Books were my best friends at many points in my childhood. And if there was a horse in it, I read it: Misty of Chincoteague, Black Gold, Fury, Black Beauty, Flicka. I think I read Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion at least seven times. I took out books on drawing horses, different breeds of horses. I read about how to care for horses.
But that was long ago.
Now and many stories on, my love for the library is something I’ve passed on to my kids. My son, nine, is an avid reader; my daughter at five is just learning to read. When I was her age, my mom would drag me in from playing in the yard to sound out words in Dick and Jane books. My children beg to come to the library. They were among the first to step into the newly renovated main branch of Kitchener Public Library, which is close to our house.
The library is now so much more than books than it was when I was their age. It’s storytime, it’s music, it’s audiobooks, movies, e-reader downloads, book and writing groups, conversation cafes. It’s colouring and singing and computer games.
No wonder we love the library. No wonder I feel as if I’ve never spent enough time inside one!
Do you have a story like Lori-Ann's?
We would love to share your library story with the community. If the library has touched your life in a meaningful way, please take a moment to let us know about it. Your story may be an inspiration to others!
Please send your story to:
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications
Kitchener Public Library
85 Queen Street North
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