Prompted by a suggestion from GeekTheLibrary, I am posting this love letter to my local library.
Dear Gaston-Lincoln Regional Library:
You play a huge part in my reading life. I've been visiting your various branches since I was 10 years old. The opening of the main library building in 1978 was a big event in my childhood. Years later I would queue up in the rain to get first crack at the books and records in the annual Friends of the Library book sale. I even became a Friend of the Library and snagged myself a snazzy purple bag for carrying home my haul from my now-weekly library visits.
Because of you I was able to satisfy my curiosity about many topics, long before the internet became a mainstay in my home. The arrival of broadband internet access didn't dampen my love for you, however. You strengthened our relationship by making your catalog available online so that it was even easier to reserve books. You've also kept up with the times in other ways, too: adding CDs, DVDs, and graphic novels to your catalog, as well as jumping on the e-book bandwagon before the current Kindle/Nook craze.
Since you are so important to me, I made sure to introduce my children to you, as well. It warms my heart when they come to me on Thursdays and say, "Where's the library bag? Did you make the library trip yet?" In all the years since they have been borrowing books from you, there has only been one mishap. My kids learned early that the library is for all citizens and they need to take good care of whatever they borrow from you so that it will still be in good shape for the next patron.
If there is one aspect of our relationship that saddens me, it is that our time together is now limited. You don't know how disappointed I am that I can no longer visit you on lazy Sunday afternoons. Because your doors are so often closed to me, our visits these days are rushed and breathless affairs as I hurry from work to pick up the books you are holding for me before you lock the door. Still, I am happy that your doors haven't been closed for good, as in so many other libraries around the country. With continued support from patrons around the county, I hope to be introducing my grandchildren to you someday.
Lifelong Library Patron