My love for reading began in elementary school. Going to the library became a highly anticipated event for me, and it resulted in my appointment as a library aide in sixth grade, a position which I still tout on my resume. The hushed tranquility of the library, the rows and rows of books (or adventures waiting to be embarked on), the video projector, the stamp the librarian used to put the due date on the index card in the pocket on the inside cover, and the impressive and mysterious card catalogue were all the ingredients for a magical time. To this day, I truly love my visits to the library, and this extends to when I’m traveling for business or pleasure.
Most recently, I found myself in Kentucky’s state capitol, Frankfort, so I made a pitstop in the Paul Sawyier Public Library on Wapping Street. Located in a beautiful building downtown, I was so impressed with the overall feel of the place. Most notably are these beautiful stained-glass windows on either side of the building. They depict the flora and fauna of Kentucky’s native species; the perfect backdrop to one of the many cozy reading centers located throughout the space. Upstairs are the teen and children’s centers that are bright and cheery. The wood cut-out mural that flanks the hallway into the children’s area I particularly loved, especially the quote from Louisa May Alcott, “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” There is also a climbing tower for high-energy toddlers, and an adorable mini rocket in which a child can sit and read, pretending to be an astronaut launching into outer space.
Not only is the space visually appealing, it has so many resources, all of which are FREE. They have several computer stations where people can check email, research recipes, do genealogy research, search for jobs online, etc. Most of us have computers at home, but for those who don’t, this is a valuable resource that keeps them connected with the world in this technological age. In another area, there are major newspaper publications for those folks who love the feel and sound of a real newspaper. Also included are multiple issues of all sorts of magazines. A lot of people have given up their magazine subscriptions, so this allows them the opportunity to still check out Cat Fancy and Vogue without the cost.
There are lots of other services offered at this library, as well as our other fine libraries throughout the state. Through an online platform called Libby, your local library has thousands of ebooks and audiobooks that you can download. There are homeschooling and homebound services. Mango Languages will have you speaking a foreign language in no time, and if you’re searching for a way to price some dusty old antique you found in your grandma’s attic, P4A Antiques is the resource for you! There are endless possibilities at the library!
In a world where we are increasingly isolated despite having more options for communication than ever before, the social interaction you can gain from visiting the library is priceless. Through classes such as yoga and painting, book clubs, family nights, teen discussion groups, and many others, our communities are made stronger through face-to-face interaction with others. Click here for a list of the events going on at the Paul Sawyier Public Library, but if you’re not local, visit the library in your area for a list of what they have scheduled. They truly have something for everyone!
I hope you will fall in love with your local library. It’s one of our most valuable resources and your tax dollars are paying for it. Go inside and see what you’re getting for your money! And when you’re traveling, stop in at a library branch. It’s a great way to get the feel of a place, its people and what’s happening in the area!