Built in Friends
Growing up, I lived in ten different places by the time I was 14. Ten! It was a challenge to make new friends with each move. But there was one friend I never had to worry about.
See these chairs? They are bright and welcoming and a perfect place for an uncertain girl who needed somewhere to hang out. This was my favorite refuge during my high school years–the Newbury Park California library branch–but there were many inviting chairs and many kind librarians that helped me long before I found this particular spot.
Wherever we happened to be, I knew I could go into my local library and find a friendly face behind that counter. Someone who would smile and speak softly and make me feel like I was Publishers Clearinghouse walking in their doors. It is a gift that youth librarians have. It is a blessing to countless children.
I remember browsing these very shelves as a fourteen-year-old and coming across an interesting book. I was a fan of Greek mythology and the novel, Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis caught my attention. The librarian explained how it is a retelling of the myth regarding Cupid and Psyche. Her excitement for the novel was contagious and she made me promise to find her once I finished the book and tell her what I thought.
A week later, I returned to the library and kept that promise. This caring librarian sat down and asked all about the story. We spoke of issues the book brought forth, such as the meaning of true beauty, humanity and how good intentions can still cause pain. It is a deep and complex story and having the ability to discuss these points helped me glean more of what C.S. Lewis intended for his readers.
How grateful I am for that friendly librarian, and for all the others who have helped shape my love of literature!
Sharing books is my favorite part of being a librarian! I'm so glad you had a great librarian who gave you great books and that you loved books enough to write one. Thanks for sharing!