February is Library Lovers' Month, which is "a month-long celebration of school, public, and private libraries of all types." I hadn't planned to post anything about that until my mom gave me this old faded photo she found of me when I had just turned three in December of 1971.
What does this have to do with Library Lovers' Month? I'm certain that the book I am pretending to read to our family dog came from our local library.
Even though there were tons of books around my house when I was little, I still always loved going to the library and picking out more. And my favorite books to pick out were the Peter Rabbit books by Beatrix Potter. Odds are good that the book I am holding in this picture is The Tale of Tom Kitten. Even though I wasn't actually old enough to read at this time, I imagine my parents had read the book to me so many times that I could page through it and tell the story well enough that my toys and my dog were none the wiser.
I knew exactly where the Potter books were shelved in the library and would run to them immediately when my parents would take me there. I can still see the row of little green books lined up on their home shelf and I remember what a big decision it was to choose which one to take home with me.
I work as a librarian and it's no secret that many libraries have fallen on hard times, particularly since the start of the recession in 2008. It's a simple fact that many people believe the digital age has rendered libraries obsolete.
I'm honestly not interested in debating that point. But this photo is a simple reminder of why I will always love libraries, regardless of what the future holds. I'm glad the little girl in this picture had the pleasure of going to the library and picking out which book she wanted to take home. And for the record, I still love Peter Rabbit and all of his friends.
I had another reason to celebrate libraries last week when I learned that my application to participate in the annual Ohioana Book Festival, which is put on by the Ohioana Library Association, was accepted! I'm so excited and can't wait to be one of the festival authors at this year's event in May.
I've been in a bit of a slump/funk since the start of the year but this invitation was just what I needed to get my spark back. It was such a thrill to get that acceptance e-mail! When I first saw it in my inbox I honestly assumed it would be a "thanks, but no thanks" rejection. My eyes nearly bugged out of my head when I opened it and read that I was wrong.
I'm also excited because Tara Tyler, who initially told me about the festival, was accepted too and this event will be the first time I get to meet one of my blogger buddies in person. Yay!
So I have more than one reason to raise a glass to libraries this month. Cheers! :)