From Jaklumen's Vox.
1. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it?
I go to the public library once every couple of weeks, because that's how long new books are loaned for. How do I use it? I check out books. The few chairs and computer terminals are mostly occupied by young students. There are wrought iron benches outside the library, and a fountain edged by a cement seat where people sometimes lounge. Somehow, I don't find it inviting enough to linger.
2. Has the coffee shop/bookstore replaced the library?
Not in my world. I go to the coffee shop to buy coffee. If there is a bookstore attached, I will browse, but I haven't bought a book in a bookshop in a long time- isn't that what Amazon is for? Going to the library is the dearest tradition of all three, and one that I want to hold on to.
3. Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any memories of the library?
I grew up in a small town with no public library. ( Another reason I love these United States- public libraries! In every county! ) The memories I have are of the small grocery store in town, where the owner rented out comic books for a few cents each. I'd go through one grocery store's collection in a month and move on to the next one, until they all ran out.
Of course, there was the school library. It was full of fascinating, tempting books. Unfortunately, they had a silly rule about only allowing one book per student per week. I routinely begged friends to check books out for me. The librarian was a pretty young thing in her twenties, who hated the fact that I read books beyond my grade level. She thought I might be checking out books for an older sibling. I wasn't, and even if I was, why was it such a bad thing? Questions to which I never found an answer.
We did have a library in the city where I went to medschool. The owner had begun small, selling used books by the roadside. By the time I found him he had a respectable library with over 20,000 volumes. That was where I discovered Rushdie. And Freud. And Steinbeck.
4. Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or older, darker, quieter, cozy libraries?
Older, darker, quieter, cozier. My favorite memories in the US are of a library in Michigan, where they had a real fireplace and cozy sofas arranged around it. I would go to visit A, and spend the days in the library when he was at work. It was perfect. 🙂
I tag you!