One of the longest, most consistent and rewarding relationships of my life has been with the Los Angeles Public Library. I learned to read, and more importantly, to love reading at a very early age. This is thanks to my mother, who was never without a book.
We always took weekly trips to the library. I can still remember the excitement of proudly printing my name in order to get my own library card! Mom always knew the librarians by name, over the years some became her close friends.
My first job was actually with the Los Angeles Public Library. I was 14 and got a summer job at the Jefferson Branch Library. It was great for a nerd like me! Unlimited access to books and I got to indulge my other passion: working with children. I was proudly in charge of the summer reading program and story hour!
I’m sorry to say I didn’t always treat the library as well as it treated me. Returning books late or damaged is part of our long history. The library is a very forgiving and patient companion. I have made my amends and try to do better today.
I always took my sons to the library. It was a great rite of passage when they got their first library card. We enjoyed story times, art projects and summer reading challenges. I read to my boys nightly, usually from books we had checked out from the library.
My visits to the library continued throughout my mom’s life. In her retirement she proudly served on the Friends of the Baldwin Hills Library board. When she was no longer able to get around on her own we made weekly library trips part of our routine. Her friends, the librarians, were truly heartbroken at the news of her transition.
The amazing thing to me is that today, living a life of world travel, my relationship with the LAPL continues. In fact it is stronger than ever. Using the Overdrive App I can access the library from anywhere in the world.
I check out E books for my tablet and audio books for my phone. These services are completely free and easy to use. Guess what? All you need is a library card!