Recently, in an attempt to save some money by not purchasing every child’s book I see for my son, he and I made a visit to the Scottsdale Civic Center Public Library. I don’t know if it is because I spent way too much of the last twelve years of my life in University Libraries or if it is because I grew up in a fairly rural area of Utah (St. George to be exact) and my memories of the library are of a small library but let me say that I LOVED it!! Their children’s section is in a wing by itself with a large foam castle with “reading towers” inside (wanted to climb inside with a copy of a Nancy Drew novel and just read in a way that I always wanted to as a child), an incredibly large number of children’s books and, my absolute favorite, board books that you can check out for small children. (Which is fabulous since my son is not to be trusted with real books at only 8 months of age, granted you do have to watch out for the ones that stick but still, board books!) I was delighted to discover that they offer a children’s story time for children under the age of 2, James and I plan on attending it a couple of hours after this post goes live.
While I could wax poetically about the children’s section and what they have to offer for even longer, it was really the romance section (and the covered parking, I live in Phoenix and the fact that I can park in shade means I will continue to drive to this library) that really sold me on this library becoming my library. Growing up in a smaller community, when I started reading more mainstream romance novels, I was devastated when I went to the library only to discover they had only about 40 books in their “romance” section and they valued them so little that you didn’t even have to check them out, you were just asked to only take four at a time and bring them back whenever. (This attitude towards romance novels and romance readers I have ranted about at length so I won’t bore you with that here but think about how that made this teenage avid reader feel about her reading choices but I digress!) From the rural public library I then moved to spending time at University and then eventually a law school library where I don’t think they even knew what contemporary fiction was, let alone romance novels. But the Scottsdale Library had 13, that’s right 13 bookshelves, front and back, of just romance novels. I felt like I had found some long lost friends! I gleefully started to wander up and down the aisles, desperately trying to decide what I could and couldn’t take home with me to read (and what I owned and didn’t own) but only made it through three before my chunky monkey decided he was done of the day. But don’t worry, I was able to find three books for me to take home before he became too distractive to other library patrons.
I am so excited to have rediscovered the public library and look forward to spending many an enjoyable hour there. Do you have library you love? J.T. Miller Jersey