Step 1: Find The Library

Today, I’d like to tell you about some purposeful wandering. I love libraries! Research libraries, children’s libraries, local libraries. You name it – I can’t think of a library I’ve been to that I didn’t like the experience. (That’s not to say that all libraries are equal. Just that they all have unique and endearing features!)

When I was about eight, my grandfather started teaching me about libraries. I could go with him to the public library, and he taught me how to use a computer to find the call number and then how the numbering system worked. Then we would go find a book. And I would usually beg to see the large historical mural before we left.

A little older and I was trying to read every Civil War book in the children’s section of the library. (And came pretty close to it!) Still later, I discovered the charm of sneaking off to the library for some quiet and focused reading or editing time. Then, a few years later I was learning to walk into paneled hallways, marbled steps, and through dizzying rows of books to start research journeys.

Outside Preston Library at Virginia Military Institute after a research day

One of the places I miss most from California is the local library in my hometown. But I try to not let myself feel homesick or focused on something I miss. So…fairly soon after my move to Virginia and settling into my new “quarters” it was off to find the local library. I’m lucky to live in county with a large library system and several libraries in the different communities. There’s one library about a stone’s throw from my new home and I love it. I still need to set aside a day to just go sit and work in that library and I need to make a grand tour and visit all the libraries in the county, but what a comforting place and resource to go find when settling in a new community.

As I’m wandering in my thoughts and thinking of things I’m thankful for, it’s fun to come up with words that I associate with local libraries and their special appeal:

  • Books
  • Comfy chairs
  • Reading nooks
  • New friends
  • Clubs and community
  • Local History archives
  • Library cards
  • Motivational art
  • Quiet places
  • WiFi (or no WiFi, if you’re trying to unplug)
  • New ideas

I’d love to hear about your favorite library and what words you associate with these special community places.

Your Historian,

Miss Sarah

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