Yesterday I read in the local newspaper that the elementary school librarians in my home district were being replaced by book carts! The old school library now houses technology and some reference type books. This, from a school district that when I was in elementary school, staffed and kept open all public school libraries throughout the summer.
It was a seven house walk and through the playground for me to enjoy the cool, tranquil, atmosphere and warm welcome by name, from the school librarian(s) –( I still remember their names — Mrs. Crenell and Mrs. Anderson ). We regularly had a nice conversation about what I had read and the librarian on duty would lead me once again to the kinds of fiction and other books that I would like as well. This one-on-one with an interested stranger who helped me to feel like I belonged and was even admired for my reading and learning interests, remains one of my fondest childhood memories.
I also remember not being able to wait to get home to throw open the book, often stopping under the shade of a tree and enjoying the warm summer breeze and a freshly started new book. The lack of availability of a librarian to match that special book to a a unique individual is a sad, sad, commentary on the distractions of our plugged-in, electronic oriented society. Life before was simple but soooo rich!