I came across a Library User Quiz from the Pew Research Internet Project today while I was wandering through my Facebook Interest Lists. I am, of course, a Library Lover.
My love of libraries started very early, in school. Since I grew up in a military family, I moved around quite a bit. I was also naturally shy. So, I spent most of my time reading. The library at each school I attended over the years became my place of comfort and discovery. I would check out as many books as I was allowed and devour them, and my favorite days were when the class would go to the library for any reason.
When I got old enough to go places on my own, I would go to the public library if it was within walking distance. I would spend hours in a chair, no matter how uncomfortable, reading the interesting looking books I had come across while wandering the shelves. This was how I discovered most of my all time favorite books, including The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Eyes of the Dragon as well as The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, and Matilda by Roald Dahl.
I also remember the first time I learned to use the public library’s new computerized card catalogue. I had already fallen in love with computers thanks to the game Oregon Trail, but the ease of finding books with just a few keystrokes had me glued to the screen searching for everything I could think of, just to see the results. I would write down the call numbers and then go on a hunt to see if I could find all those books. It’s almost as if I didn’t believe the computer would direct me to the right place until I saw the books there on the shelf exactly where the computer said they would be.
Though I remember using and mastering the original card catalogue, I don’t miss it, especially now that most libraries have their catalogue’s online. I no longer have to wait impatiently in line to use one of the library’s two or three computers to find what I’m looking for. I can search to my heart’s content from the comfort of my home, and with the increasing availability of e-books, I might not even have to leave my apartment if I don’t want to.
When I want to get out, besides books stores, the library is where I’m likely to go. My university’s library is one of the main reasons I chose to apply. It’s seven stories, each the size of a football field. I’ve spent entire days there, sometimes to do research, sometimes to hideaway in one of the chairs and just read, and sometimes just to get on the internet. It’s my first go-to whenever I’m looking for anything. I can’t wait till the Fall semester starts!