Library Memories

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Library Memories

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Jan 5, 2010, 11:53 pm

This subject may not go far but, I would like to share this. While going through some old pictures I found a Certificate From my library summer reading program. I can't remember how many books we were supposed to read. But I read the required amount and received the certificate. It was 1956 and I was 9 years old. I am going to frame it and hang it over one of my book cases.

Jan 5, 2010, 11:54 pm

Terrific! What a find.

Jan 6, 2010, 12:35 am

I remember getting one for reading biographies. I think I was going to be in the fourth grade. I believe there was a series of books and you had to read them all. I think I still have that certificate somewhere...hmmm.

Jan 6, 2010, 2:45 am

When I was little, our local branch of the public library was about an eighth of a mile from my house, and I went there quite often; I still remember exactly where Black Beauty was on the shelf. There was a box of stereos and a stereo viewer on the reading room table.

When I was about 9 I went and asked the librarian if I could work there in the summer, and she let me; I got to check books out to people with a fascinating machine that date-stamped the book card with a resounding "chung" sound that was very satisfying :)

Jan 6, 2010, 1:58 pm

My library has an adult reading program in January & February each year, where if you read so many books, you get a tote bag, or a coffee cup, or something of the sort. I never miss it.

How cool to have that certificate! I wonder if my mother has anything like that of mine. She was never one for saving things like that, but with 6 kids, she'd have a mess if she had!

Editado: Jan 7, 2010, 10:12 pm

I did the summer reading club every year and always finished waaaaay early. My mom was my teacher (one-room school) and she sometimes did reading challenges during the school year too. I remember decorating my butterfly and my crown and both times having to eventually put stickers on the back because I ran out of room on the pictures. Until junior high, my only library was the bookmobile, which I LOVED. They didn't have many young adults books, however, so I re-read books and read my mom's books--probably before it was really appropriate for me to be doing so.

Jan 9, 2010, 3:34 am

I remember, in 3rd grade, the nasty nun who would not let me read a book from the 4th grade shelf. My Mom became a hero when she went to school and faced down that old biddy. It was the beginning of the end for Catholic school. Then my wonderful Mom took me to the public library and got me a card. Oh, bliss! Oh, joy! I was in heaven.
My best childhood memory! I'm almost tempted to pray for that nun for starting all this.

Jan 9, 2010, 9:21 am

I have a similar story - when I was 12 the local town librarian decided I was too young to read Old Jules - Mari Sandoz's memoir of her father. He was a bit abusive, and she thought I should not read such things. My mother (who was back in college to become a school librarian) marched in there and informed the dear lady that I was to be allowed to read whatever I wanted. I was so proud.

Jan 9, 2010, 2:45 pm

Bravo for your moms! I never ran into that problem, but I know my mom would have done the same.

Jan 9, 2010, 11:42 pm

Mrs. Edgar, the town librarian, who got the job by dint of her husband being the football coach (which makes sense only if you are from a REALLLLYYYY small town), once took a book out out of my 14-year old hand, and informed me she didn't think my mom would like me to read it. The next week, my mom came with me and checked it out for me. Not sure, but I think it was Helter Skelter.

The same Mrs. Edgar, though, stood up to the PTBs that decreed that Nancy Drew was not good literature and should be removed from the shelves. Mrs. Edgar and Nancy prevailed.

Jan 11, 2010, 9:24 am

I was introduced to our small town public library at the age of 6 (the year was 1963) and immediately encountered librarians who wouldn't allow me to check out anything but "children's" books (Dr. Seuss, etc.). Since my reading level was 12th grade (highest the tests would go) I was very frustrated. I solved the problem by learning how to steal books from libraries (don't worry, I returned them after reading).

Jan 11, 2010, 10:04 am

I can still picture the library at the Catholic grammar school I attended. As small as I was (littlest in all of my grades!) I thought the room was small. Shelves all around and a table in the middle. The only book I remember was a book of Greek mythology that had beautiful pictures. Given that it was in the school library, I am guessing that the tales were a bit "laundered".

Our branch library was across a busy street, so I could not go there until I was about 8 years old. At that time, the Chicago Public Library had sections based on age, and our library cards were issued based on age. One could not check out any book that was in an older age group section. It never crossed my mind to even look. I still checked out the maximum number of books allowed for the three week period and went back every three weeks to get new books. I always had something to read.

Funny, we moved to the suburbs when I was about 12, and I don't remember a thing about how I got hold of books. I know I never stopped reading!

Jan 11, 2010, 12:46 pm

My Catholic elementary school didn't have a library, only a couple of shelves of books in each classroom. I read them all. Lots of Lives of the Saints, written for children. I can probably still tell you the story of various arcane saints.

(Anyone else remember St. Gemma Gagliani? She died as a little girl, which made her perfect for a children's book. I can't believe I remember her name; when I searched on Google for the correct spelling I got a whole 4,900 hits, mostly in Italian. That's an obscure saint.)

Library branches were pretty far away, so until I was quite a bit older, we only went when Dad could drive us. I had the CPL age-restricted library card, too, although my mom could come in and give permission for me to check out "older" books.

When I was quite small (5,6,7?), I remember a bookmobile that stopped on our street. I loved the bookmobile :-) One day, I found a book I remembered just *loving* when I first read it, so I checked it out again. I was shocked when I could not duplicate the original reading experience. It was And thus I discovered the difference between grade levels.

Jan 11, 2010, 12:54 pm

Ah, Phaedra. I remember that experience too. What a shock it was to find a book I didn't like! Also learned another valuable lesson: look inside the book before you check it out.

My moment of epiphany was also on a bookmobile.

Jan 11, 2010, 8:43 pm

I remember the bookmobile in our town. I didn't realize it still existed until I walked out of the "Y" this evening and there it sat. Which is a good spot because of the youth club that is there. We live in the county of course it doesn't leave the city limits.

Jan 12, 2010, 11:30 am

tloeffler/5 - I wasn't as smart as your mother. I have 5 kids, and the 'can't throw THAT memory away' mess.

Jan 21, 2010, 11:30 pm

For three years (2nd, 3rd, 4th grades) I was in a school "complex" with three buildings -- 2 that were built as public schools, 1 a church building where the district rented space to accommodate kids from the peak of the Baby Boom. (I was in the largest graduating class.)

The school library was in a big corner room in the basement of the larger school building. I can actually remember the corner where my favorite mystery books were located. I was addicted to mysteries!

The public library where we lived during my childhood never seemed terribly inviting -- I can't say why, exactly. But it was better than the County Library there. That place felt totally cold and impersonal.

My worst library memory was when I was in grad school 3 1/2 hours from where I lived, and I let a library book go a bit overdue when my mom was in ICU in another state, and when I called to renew they said I had to actually COME IN to renew it because it was late! OOOOhhhh! (I howled, and explained the situation, and then they were kind enough to make an exception.)

Editado: Jan 22, 2010, 12:38 am

This member has been suspended from the site.

Jan 24, 2010, 5:10 pm

Collectorator, my library still does those summer reading program things. I'll have to see what they do this summer, sometimes it's maps and sometimes other things.

Jan 25, 2010, 11:18 am

I just picked up my free coffee cup from the library this weekend for reading 7 books since January 1!

Jan 26, 2010, 11:13 am

That's a nice reward! I still have a mug from a PBS station in New York that had the art from the Mystery series and which changes when it gets hot. One of my favorite mugs.

Jan 26, 2010, 4:46 pm

My brother and I frequently walked the mile or so to the library branch closest to our home. It remains in my mind just what a library should be. Old dark wood. Shaded lamps. shelves and shelves of books! The most wonderful place in the world

Jan 26, 2010, 5:30 pm

The first Library in our town was a converted house. The living room had children and reference books, the main bedroom had non-fiction. The other two bed rooms had books for the women and one for the men. They used the kitchen as a breakroom. When they finally built a "Real" library they tore down the "Book House" it was a very sad day.

Jan 26, 2010, 5:39 pm

In my town you could have a library card the minute you could sign your own name. I was the only child on the street and everyone pitched in to help me learn to write my name. One retired school teacher went so far as to patiently dot out my name on page after page of a steno notebook so I could practice. I brought that library card home long before I went to school and it remains one of the proudest days of my life!