Great Books are rife with Characters who are tremendously impacted by their exposure to libraries. Will Halloway in Something Wicked this way Comes by Ray Bradbury, It by Stephen King has the wonderful Ben Hanscomb writing Haikus’ and spending part of his adolescence in the safety and warmth of a library. And of course Frank McCourt’s lovely epiphany on books and the company they can offer a lonely soul. The Library is an amazing and magical place that will last a lifetime if one is introduced to it at the right time. This is a place where silently battles rage, where the past is played out again and again with all its horrors and joys. The future is mapped and changed and mapped again. But only by those who possess the patience to unlock the mystery that is set before them. Any one of these books will take you wherever you want to go. But first you must ask to be led there. And even then sometimes they will switch paths and surprisingly take you somewhere else all the while letting you see the strands that connect all things, Libraries truly are magical places when used correctly. All it takes is your two most valuable assets, yourself and a library card, both are priceless and the combination can’t be stopped.
You’ll find Libraries in Literature have always acted as an incubator of sorts for the Characters they support in the storyline. In the bestseller, Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt’s headmaster Mr. O’Halloran refers to library usage when he says, You have to study and learn so you can make up your OWN mind about history and everything else, but you can’t make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. It is your house of Treasures and no one in the world can interfere with it. If you won the Irish Sweepstakes and bought a house that needed furniture would you fill it with bits and pieces of rubbish? Your mind is your Treasure house and if you fill it with bits of rubbish from the Cinema (movies) it will ROT in your head. You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a Palace! Smart Teacher, teaching his students how to teach themselves.
And another thing…some amazing changes in library usage have occurred while you weren’t looking. Are you aware that you can access your local library with your own little computer online and use it as a connection to order ANY DVD, CD or Video or heavens forbid…a book. You can do this anytime of the day or night. And when it comes into your local branch that fabulous librarian will call you to come and get it!
So if like me you find yourself at 3 AM wishing you had either the biography of Simon Girty or the DVD of the Little Mermaid at your fingertips you need not be frustrated anymore. Simply go onling with your computer and call up your local public library website (like magic!) and check out the Catalog; you’ll need your library card and on the flip side of it, you’ll find a bar-code with numbers either above or below it, that your ticket to ordering. And usually the password is the last four digits of your home phone. You can order games, DVDs, books, sometimes toys just about anything. The Library now offers free classes too, Computer Classes, check it out at your local Library. And here’s some great research tools for the Internet.
Fun and interesting Library sites on the Internet;
www.worldcat.org ; If you have your library card you can order from all over the U.S.
www.archive.org ; Just really fun to poke around..they have some hilarious 50’s High School Health Class Movies, you’ll be cracking up all afternoon. Wonderful Stuff!!!
my apoligies to Mr. Halloran, but sometime you get tired of all that stocking of the mind and just need a good belly laugh. Have fun.