Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Thank you, Mr. Carnegie…

public library

(not my local library- way cuter)

I took the boys to our local library this morning. It’s one of my favorite places in our little world.

Most mornings of the week, they have a rhyme time program. We go in, get a ticket from a smiling children’s librarian, and then join about 20 other moms and kids for a half hour of songs, rhymes, and stories. Seth and Evan LOVE it. They dance, they clap, and they remember the rhymes later on… and so does their mom. Blowing and mass chasing of bubbles, a stamp on the hand, and we’re off.

This morning, I was looking for books that could answer this frequently asked question: “What does ______ (insert your animal of choice here) eat?” So I asked one of the children’s librarians, and she promptly hopped up from her desk and led me to a large section of children’s books on animals. She didn’t come up with an encyclopedia style book about animal eating patterns, but I did find several books on Seth’s level about the habits of some of his favorites.

We came home, and we read while Evan napped. We read about the mysterious giant squid, and we looked at beautiful photos of toads, and Mommy learned a thing or two about a cow’s stomach…

It made me thankful all over again for the institution of the public library. My local one is about 5 minutes away, and it has a great system for requesting and renewing books. Everything is online, and I get regular emails to let me know that I need to renew. I renew online, and if something won’t renew, its a short trip to take it back.

I also recently discovered their online interlibrary loan program. Oh, my… I am excited! You want a book they don’t have? No problem… just type in the author and title, give them your card no., and hit enter. In two weeks, you can have an obscure book from some other library in the U.S. I am going to be shamelessly taking advantage of this for many years to come.

I did a little looking on Wikipedia, and as far as I can figure, I can thank Mr. Andrew Carnegie for the bounty I enjoy today. He gave the public library in the U.S. its start at looking like it does today. Hmmm, wealthy businessman using the fruits of his labors to pioneer something new and beneficial to mankind… wait, wasn’t the government supposed to be the only entity that can do that? =) So, thank you, Mr. Carnegie. You’ve helped to make my life richer…

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