The Greatest Stories Ever Told – All Available at Your Local Library

Photo by Vickie Bates.

No secret, I’m a big fan of public libraries.

This week is National Library Week and, while there’s still time to celebrate, the terrific thing about public libraries is that you can take advantage of all the great things they have to offer – from a vast collection of free books for every age and interest and in a wide range of formats to CDs, DVDs, electronic resources, Internet connections, wise and professionally trained reference desk experts, and free heat in the winter and air conditioning in summer.

I happened to visit my local branch this afternoon and found a charming tyke ahead of me in line, picture books, children’s encyclopedia and DVDs piled high in his arms. Seeing him reminded me of how frequently I visited libraries as a child, how they helped me develop a love of reading that became a love of writing.

I’ve lived in large metropolitan areas and spent time as a small child in the remote woods of New Hampshire, and I’ve had a library membership in every corner of the world. My little town in the Granite State is the kind of place where, when I moved back in 2000 and began using the library again, I was handed the library card I’d first used when I was six with the goofy, loopy pencil signature of my six-year-old self. They’d hung on to it for me, as if certain I’d be back – once a library lover, always one.

I was also reminded of how vital libraries can be in helping kids dream (in the first place) and achieve those dreams (in the second). And how they help adults with things like job search and the background research needed to ace an interview.

Whatever stage of life, the library can serve a purpose.

You can celebrate National Library Week tomorrow by visiting your local library with family or friends. Check out what NPR’s Linda Holmes discovered when she went back to her local library here.

What great books or discoveries have you made in libraries?

If it’s been a while since you’ve been, you may be amazed what you find there – and isn’t it pretty cool to still be amazed?