Apr 12, 2012

by English Muse

Hello friends! I’m Katie from Unwritten, Untitled.  I am so delighted and honored to be a guest blogger on English Muse after being a reader for the last couple of years.  Over on my little blog, I write about books, imagination, inspiration, and my moderate literary obsession.  While Tina is away, I’ll be here bright and early every Thursday morning to share what book-related anything is inspiring me this week.

Did you know that it’s National Library Week?  To say that I spent my childhood in the public libraries of every place my family lived is no great exaggeration; we spent hours there every week.  In college, I practically lived in the library, like most English majors I know.  Once, while researching a paper, I found a first edition collection of short stories from 1803 in the stacks at my university.  It wasn’t a famous work, nor was it a valuable volume, but the simple magic of holding a book that old was slightly thrilling.  A bundle of questions tumbled through my mind at once.  Who selected it for the library’s collection?  Who last set it on this shelf?  How often has it been read?  Who last read it, and when?

National Library Week (NLW) was first sponsored by the American Library Association in 1958.  It is now composed of several events, including the release of the previous year’s top ten challenged books.  These posters, both from the 1960s, promoted the observation of NLW and set the year’s theme.  This year, it’s rather simple: you belong at your library.

The idea of this year’s theme is that you belong at your library because there is something for everyone there–books, movies, audiobooks, music, etc.  As for me, though, I rarely pick up anything besides a book.  I love the delight of browsing a whole range of shelves, knowing that whatever volume I pull has probably been read before, and that when I finish it, it will be read again.  Someone else has turned the pages, gasped at that plot twist, gotten teary through that conclusion, and laughed at that line–and yet another someone will do the same after me!

I’m curious: have you ever found a treasure in a library?  I’ve found a few, and I’m heading to the library today to see what surprises me from the shelves this time.  I’ll be back next week to share what I find and, hopefully, a good dose of inspiration for you.  Until then, have a wonderful week!

[image 1: artist unknown, via DP Vintage Poster/image 2: artist unknown/image 3: 2012 NLW logo]

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012 at 8:00 am. It is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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7 Responses to “You Belong…”

  1. Nicole says:

    I love this! I’m a grad student studying English and I didn’t even know it was NLW! I love my local library! I would love to visit more, but I”m pretty set on the books I’ve already purchased for the semester for now!

  2. Hannah B. says:

    I *love* that first poster! (and libraries too, of course!)

    As far as treasures & libraries go, I always pick up books for the covers and I remember the first time I picked up the cutest copy of “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” back in 2004. I was in high school, and I was the only girl my age that I knew of who was completely in love with Jean Kerr!

  3. The closest thing I’ve found to a treasure at the library was when I checked out a copy of No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July and found, tucked inside the front flap, a note from someone congratulating me for picking a book she had really loved. It felt a little bit like an “Amelie” moment!

  4. Luli says:

    I’ve spent a lot of time in public libraries too, and I still do. I still check out books, dvds and music from libraries. I love my Nook, but I don’t feel the need to buy everything I read and the library is perfect for discovering something new or rediscovering an old classic.

  5. Cassie says:

    I love that you spent hours in the library every week. I want to do this with my kids. :) Thanks for the fun library facts! I found a cookbook that is dated the late 1890′s !

  6. Dizzy Lizzie says:

    This post is so awesome! I feel sad because this was not a part of my chldhood. In India, it is hard to find good libraries. All the books that I grew up reading, and there were a lot of it, were bought for me. So it’s a good thing that my reading habit was not hampered by a lack of libraries, but I would imagine that there are many, many others who are not that lucky. Libraries really are such a treasure house!

  7. Jo says:

    national library week!! i had no idea this even existed!
    the library was easily one of my favorite hangouts as a kid. still is!
    a huge part of that was the head librarian. she used to read to the kids in such a way that truly mesmerized. ahhhh, wonderful memories!
    hooray for libraries!!

fin.
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