This is one in an occasional series of appreciations for libraries. Would you like to write a guest post about your favorite library story? Let me know!
by Gerry Wakeland
If you asked me to describe my dream home, without pause I’d respond, “My dream home would be an old vacant library where I would remove all the fixtures except the bathroom and the bookshelves and then I’d move my bed and desk into the center and start filling the shelves with my books.” At which point you would stare at me quizzically.
My love affair with books and the library began as a child and continues to this very day. I remember as an elementary student begging my mother to take me to the library. She’d pull up to the curb in front and let me out, reminding me she would be back in an hour. Every time, I’d race up three sets of steps, fling open the double doors, run inside and stop. I would stand perfectly still and inhale the fragrance of the books. True love.
The library was my refuge. It provided a safe and silent haven from the noise and chaos of my home. But more than that, it opened doors for me, doors to the past, doors to the future, doors of adventure, and doors of romance, most importantly doors of wisdom.
I learned so much at the library. I learned that as a woman I could be brave and bold like Amelia Earhart or save lives like Florence Nightingale or Clara Barton. I could write poetry like Elizabeth Barrett Browning or books like Jane Austen. The library gave me hope!
Over the years I have continued to be a library patron. Sometimes I take my laptop and head to the library to work on a project. With the world at my fingertips, both digitally and in hard copy, I can research any topic to my heart’s content. Hardly a Saturday goes by that you cannot find me at some point in the day at the local library, perusing the new arrivals for the week.
Or sometimes I just sit quietly in one of the easy chairs wishing that the books could talk and wondering what they would say if they could tell the stories behind the stories.
I may never have the unusual, almost bizarre, home of my dreams. But the library is still my refuge, affording me a place that’s safe and silent, where dreams are born and hope exists.
Gerry Wakeland is the President and CEO of CLASSEMINARS, Inc. She loves helping Christian communicators identify their passion, clarify their vision and define their mission so that they can articulate God’s message effectively. Gerry is the mother of two grown daughters and grandmother to three precious grandsons. She makes her home in the land of enchantment, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her favorite pastime is reading and one of her favorite places is the public library. In March, the CLASS website will release news of the 2012 Christian Writers Conference: www.classeminars.org. Come meet Gerry and the rest of the CLASS faculty there!