So I did what any good writer does -- I stuck with the information that went with the slant I had chosen. But today, I'm back. Turns out I couldn't change the subject without acknowledging a few other libraries.
For most of the 20th century, the Himmelreich Memorial Library in downtown Lewisburg was Lewisburg's public library. It was a beautiful building, and one I didn't spend much time in until I considered myself more a Lewisburg resident than a Bucknell student -- which was, if memory serves, the last summer I spent in Lewisburg. I only went there a few times, but I remember pulling open the heavy front door and walking into a room that immediately gave me that wonderful, peaceful library feeling. While I'm sure the library that replaced it is much bigger, with many more amenities, the Himmelreich Memorial Library was a pretty nice place for a lonely graduate student to visit in the late 1980s.
Finally, closer to home, is a library I discovered when my daughter was three. It lacks the spectacle and architectural splendor of the Himmelreich and the NYPL, but it has been our favorite library for almost thirteen years. When she was in first grade, it nearly got absorbed into the local school system, and both she and I fought for its independence, writing letters to board members and the editor of the local newspaper. Aptly named The Village Library, it not only maintained its independence, but last summer, it expanded into an empty storefront, bringing its book sale inside, and ushering in a whole new era. I always thought I would volunteer there when I retired.
And perhaps someday I will.