Really, libraries don’t need reinventing, thanks

The Nocturnal Librarian

Two stories have made their way to me from around the internet lately. A few weeks ago it seemed everywhere I looked people were sharing the story of a small, “DIY” library in Brooklyn at a work sharing space. LitHub’s Phillip Pantuso speaks with a number of people, including Heather Topcik, director of the library at Bard, who gush that this is a revolution in serendipity where people can actually browse bookshelves. She actually says, “I think there’s some nostalgia there, because people don’t use libraries, unless you’re a student.” Maybe she should drive a couple of hours south and visit some of the NYPL branches Jim Dwyer visited for his piece in the New York Times a few years ago.

Pantuso goes on to say, “Digital classification has abetted the evolution of the library. In the past, a librarian would be tasked with deciding whether to shelve a book…

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Why it is Smart to Get Your Own ISBN | Savvy Book Writers

. . In a recent blog post I mentioned the findings of the January 2015 Author Earnings Report: 30% of the e-books being purchased in the U.S. do not use

Source: Why it is Smart to Get Your Own ISBN | Savvy Book Writers

If you don't build your dream

Free Checklist for “Passive” Book Marketing | Savvy Book Writers

. . No author wants (and needs) to spend hours and hours every day to promote their books via social media.  There are lots of small and (often) quick

Source: Free Checklist for “Passive” Book Marketing | Savvy Book Writers

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The Writing Chimp, Georgina Cromarty: 7 Stunning Libraries

Book Lover’s Heaven from Georgina Cromarty!

G.L. Cromarty

The inner book nerd is delighted by this collection. Beautiful buildings full of beautiful books.

1. Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland

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2. Mexico City Library

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3. Stuttgart Library

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4. New York Library

http://www.guiadenuevayork.com/new-york-public-library http://www.nypl.org/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oscarfh/17902282471/

5. The Library of El Escorial in Madrid, Spain

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Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cuellar/370663920/

6. Strahov Monastery Library in Prague, Czech Republic

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Source: http://www.larbes.com/

7. Admont Abbey Library in Admont, Austria

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The Library

Rachel Reading a Book

Kindergarten graduation

Years ago when my son was moving from kindergarten to the first grade there was a summer reading program.  The program covered all students in St. Louis, Missouri.  If a student read five books over the summer, the reader received a certificate for an ice cream cone from the St. Louis Public Library.  The fast food chain, McDonald’s, sponsored the program.

That summer my son, Pat, was six years of age.  Even at six his bright mind was quick and always looking to find the things that would benefit him.  Simply reading five books to acquire an ice cream cone was easy.  Pat had been in tow with me for years going to the local branch library.  That year on summer vacation my son attained his first library card.

My daughter, Rachel, was two years old and she, too, wanted free ice cream cones.  So while Pat was looking for books, I told Rachel she could get books on my card.  She had also learned to count.  Five books was a number for her to count.

Once, sometimes twice per week, the three of us were at the library returning books and getting another certificate.

Rachel would sit on my lap and we read each book together.  She learned her alphabet and was sounding out words over that summer.

While at the library returning books, Rachel asked in her soft, sweet voice, “Daddy, when can I get my own “libraby” card?”

The ladies working at the library heard her question and told her she had to sign her name.  That was all that was needed.

Those two bright, brown eyes looked to me for the answer.  I asked the younger of the two ladies for a sheet of paper, then we sat at a table.  Starting with large block letters, we reduced the size each time until she wrote the letters.  Pat stopped looking for new books to read and was cheering Rachel on.  Soon I noticed the crowd of adults and other children watching.

Finally Rachel signed her name twice, the same size, to go on the back of the “libraby” card.

It was time.

I filled out the card, the one that told the librarians where the book that was not returned was located.

Rachel took the pen from the librarian and signed her name in the block letters.  When she finished, it seemed Rachel had drawn a crowd –  everyone applauded her!

My daughter was not just happy but proud of herself.

Now she was able to earn her ice cream cones on her own and Pat was every bit as proud of her.

A few decades later, Pat is Director of Informational Technology for a school district.  He is currently working on his PhD and Rachel has a Bachelor’s degree as a Geological Engineer.  All from reading at a local branch library.

One other thing, I have always been proud of both!

Copyright © 2013 Patrick Jones, All Rights Reserved.