As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I’m definitely of a certain age 🙂 as in didn’t grow up in the age if computing, MTV launched whilst I was in high school, mobile phones weren’t existent as we know them today, there weren’t “faux” celebrities or even reality tv. Well there was National Geographic and shows on PBS here in the States.
Even before I discovered the joys of riding a bike without a helmet or organized sports, the library was my favorite place of entertainment. Anyone remember encyclopedia’s and when they were updated every 18-months? That’s how you learned about everything, different countries, plants whatever. The hardbound volumes of books now replaced by Wikipedia and the Dewey Decimal system now algorithms embedded in Bing or Google or whatever search engine.
All of this flashed through my mind when I got word that Miss Marple, passed away yesterday. While I’ve been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember, Miss Marple; she, she is the librarian that I hold all others in comparison to. I first met her when I was in kindergarten and she was the beautiful, young librarian of my (first) elementary school. She was captivating and she loved teaching us kids about books and the dewey decimal system. She introduced me to Mrs. Piggle Wiggle when she discovered I could read at a higher level as a 5-year old. When she handed me my first library card, typed and very “official” I placed it in my pee chee with great reverence. Even though we moved away a few years later, whenever we were in the old neighborhood visiting, we’d stop at the library (back then the school library was also the community library so it was open most days and later than school was in session) and she would greet me as if I were an old friend. Showing me new authors or introducing genres as I was ready.
In high school, once I had my own car I would find myself driving to her library every so often for a visit. It was then I realized that when I first met her, she was literally 4-months out of college and three weeks into her first job. Her youthful enthusiasm was genuine and her love of reading and books ran deep. She had a way of imparting that love and passion to countless minds, young and old alike.
While I was sad to learn of her passing, I couldn’t help but smile when it was shared that she passed away while reading in her favorite chair; a stack of books in various states of being read on the table beside her with post-it notes stuck to them with notes on who to recommend a book to or why it would be a good book for the library. So much like her. But what made me giggle was her son saying that in her reading room were several, unopened kindle’s and nooks on the shelves. well meaning gifts from patrons that thought she should get onboard the whole e-reader wagon. what a rebel she was.
rest in peace miss m. godspeed…
A person who instills the love of reading into our lives is someone who touches us forever. My grandmother would take me on the bus when I was little so I could check out books. I loved taking that trip with her. In this digital age at least there’s no more overdue book fees!
Lovely post with fond remembrances that brought up a few of my own. Wow — getting my first library card (both in school as well as in the local library). I remember how “grown up” I felt when they stamped my first local library card “YA” – I was now free to move from the children’s section of books to the young adult shelves. It was like a rite of passage.
Thanks for the post and the trip down memory lane over here!