My First Library Card and Other Library Stories

Yesterday, Morgan at Scholastic blogged about how getting your first library card can be a defining moment in your life and many shared their own first library card stories under the twitter hashtag #firstlibrarycard

Inspiring right? Well, I have a confession to make ... I don't remember my first library card.  I remember checking out tons of books from libraries - usually during summer vacations - but when did I first have my own personal library card? I'm not sure.

If I had to guess, I'd say I probably got my first library card around the age of 13 when we moved to Ohio, and the card was for the WPAFB libraries.  One summer I read all the paranormals in the teen section I could find (think Christopher Pike and Lois Duncan) and then hit pay dirt when the library had a huge sale where I bought 300+ paperbacks for $10.

I used the library a ton in college.  I even took trips to visit other university libraries and liberally took advantage of inter-library loans.

I spent my last year of college as an exchange student in Japan. The library at Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka was spectacular, with floors and floors of English books.  Sadly, most of the library was off limits to the majority of students, including me. One of my professors took us on a tour of the forbidden areas (which is how I knew about them in the first place) and encouraged us to sneak in. When I did, I was caught and the librarians drew a red circle around my picture on the Exchange Student poster in the library foyer. Fortunately, another professor was able to get me a tiny sticker to put on my student ID which finally gave me full access.

One of the first things I did when I moved to Germany was seek out the library. The small branch near my apartment didn't have many books in English, but I took this as an opportunity to catch up on some classics such as BRAVE NEW WORLD, ANIMAL FARM, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER. Eventually I discovered the main branch library and immersed myself in their extensive thriller and literary fiction collection.

One last funny story: When I was in Wichita before my wedding, my father's internet went out and the only place that offered public internet access was the library. Since I had long since misplaced my Wichita library card, I had to apply for a replacement. When librarian told me I needed my parents signatures to get a card, I looked at her in utter confusion. She explained it was the requirement for teens under 18. I just laughed and showed her my driver's license to prove that I was over a decade older. Guess wearing sunscreen every day since I was 13 has paid off ....

Pretend the above graphic gives a release date of January 15, 2013 for LEVEL 2 until I can get it changed :)


erica and christy said...

I don't remember even having a library card, but I have tons of library memories. The town I live in now doesn't issue cards - we're really tiny and the librarian knows everyone and if she doesn't, she'll get to know you (my kids just check out under my name, too).

Britta said...

I wish I utilized my library more! In all honesty, I didn't start really reading until two years ago. And now I find myself too spoiled to not own my books. It is bad. I need an intervention.

Julia :) said...

I've had a Library card for as long as I can remember. I either got it in preschool or kindergarten. The Library has also been my favorite place for forever. That's why I want to become a Librarian. <3

The Library File. said...

Did the library personnel at Seinan Gakuin University wear white coats by any chance?

I have used university libraries in two European countries where the library assistants wore white coats as if they were working in a lab.

In the UK, where I am from, library assistants are usually sensibly shod and dressed in smart/casual clothing.

The white coats made checking out books even more exciting than usual!

Lynne D. Simpson said...

The library is the place where people go to read the books and for the information but is the best option for all student. The person who has no money just goes to the library and gets the information. This story is so courage and reminds me my old days of the university.