Monday, February 17, 2014

Library Lovers Month and The Ohioana Book Festival

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! :)


  1. Congratulations! And cool you'll get to meet Tara in person.

  2. Congratulations, Julie! And thanks for giving libraries a big shout-out. Just as it was predicted microwaves would replace stoves, I think people will come to their senses and realize the digital age and real books in libraries can work together.

    It's great you get to meet Tara.

  3. So awesome that you found your inspiration - appearing at the book festival and meeting Tara will be fun - a great thing to look forward to!

    And I love libraries too - so important in my early life!

    Think spring and smile!

  4. Congrats to you and Tara for being a part of the festival!

    I go to my local library once a week and it is ALWAYS crowded. Love to see it! :)

  5. I didn't realize you're younger than I am. You're just a kid! ;)

    I adore libraries and wish there were any where I live now... Americans have a lot of things they don't appreciate, so get out of that slump/funk and count your blessings!

  6. Congratulations. Attending such a festival must be a real experience.

  7. Congrats to you both! How awesome is it that you'll get to meet! :)

  8. All hail libraries! And librarians. :)

    And congrats on the acceptance. Awesome news.

  9. Congratulations! That's awesome. Cute picture. Eerie since my parents had the exact same couch and the living room looks like it was when I was a child. I guess 70s decor wasn't that varied! *LOL*

  10. Congrats to you and Tara! Very exciting.

    I love libraries too, they were an early part of my life. We still frequent our local library.

    That should be fun and good for your promotion in May.

  11. @Alex, thanks!

    @Kittie, that's a good point, I hope so. Thanks so much.

    @Yolanda, smiling here! :)

    @Madeline, thank you! And that's good to hear.

    @Lexa, oh, that's funny as when I uploaded the pic I thought, geez, I'm so old. LOL. I'm out of the funk, I promise. :D

    @Vanessa, I am nervous about it but also so excited. Thanks!

    @Melissa, I know, I can't wait.

    @LG, thanks!

    @Christine, LOL, I know, I had to laugh at the 70s decor. How funny that your parents had the same couch. According to my mom the dog was only allowed on this couch because it was so old LOL.

    @Karen, thanks!

  12. @DG, thank you! I really looking forward to it. :)

  13. Congrats! on being one of the festival authors. I was selected once and met Dean Koontz and Henry Winkler. So maybe you will run across some famous authors. Good luck to you!

  14. @Stephen, wow, how exciting for you! Thanks so much for the good luck wishes.

  15. Awwww...that is such an adorable photo of you and the dog and books, and more :-)

    Congrats on your acceptance. Please give a big hug to Tara for me. I do enjoy her blog. Her bright personality shines through and brightens my day even when I don't get to comment on the posts.

  16. That's fantastic! I know you'll have a great time. And meeting a fellow blogger face to face is fun.

    We visit our local library once a week.

  17. I am so mad at myself for not getting my book out in time. I wanted to come to Ohioana with you and Tara. I'm so bummed!!

  18. Congratulations on getting accepted to the Ohioana event! Wonderful you'll get to meet Tara.

    I love the photo of you "reading". What a special treasure!

    Mary Montague Sikes

  19. Congratulations! What a wonderful opportunity. ANd how cool you get to meet a bloggy friend in person :)

  20. @Angela, that's a perfect description of Tara's blog, I totally agree. Thanks!

    @Jay, thanks so much, I appreciate it.

    @Elizabeth, oh, I wish you were going too! Maybe next year, that would be awesome if we could all be there.

    @Mary, thanks! :)

    @Nutschell, I know, I'm so excited. Thanks so much.

  21. Huge congrats to you and Tara!

    I love the photo :)

  22. Aw, what a cute picture! And I agree, libraries are awesome! Back in high school, I once mentioned going to the library for fun, and the people around me thought I was crazy. (Their loss, haha.)

    Also, so exciting about the festival! Good luck with it in May! :)

  23. I had library cards for half a dozen different libraries when I lived in Maryland... and used 'em all. I loved libraries then, and I still love them, now. It's hard for me to even imagine, but some children in our area don't own a single book. Libraries are their windows on the world.

    Fantastic about you being accepted in the book festival, AND getting to meet a fellow blogger there. Just thinking about that should be enough to spark your enthusiasm for a good while to come.

  24. Public libraries are to be treasured. I've managed to get a library card in nearly every town I've ever lived in. I loved the system in New York City as dearly as I love the one in the small town where I live now.

  25. Congratulations on your acceptance, Julie! This is a tremendous honor, and it's great news for Tara too! Looking forward to hearing, and seeing pics of the big event! I also loved going to the library as a kid, and with my own kids.


  26. I forgot to mention that your photo is adorable!

  27. @Carol, thanks!

    @Heather, LOL, I've gotten that "you're crazy" look too. Thanks so much.

    @Susan, I think it will, thanks!

    @Armchair, big agree.

    @Julie, aww, thank you! :)

  28. That's funny, I mentioned libraries in my post today...

    When I was kid we had this routine every Wednesday. Before school we would get donuts, after school we would get ice cream, and after the ice cream we went to the library. Wednesday is still my favorite day of the week.

    And congratulations! That's so cool that you get to meet Tara!

    Writing Through College

  29. I love libraries. However, our local one is full of indigents and the homeless. I don't mind them except for the smell which has permeated the place. Plus you can't go into the bathroom without seeing someone taking a bath in the sink.

  30. The library in our town had to reduce its open hours to three days a week. Wen I was a child, my dad used to take me to the library in Stockholm. All the books were bound in red leather or red something else, not sure, but I will never forget my joy at seeing all those red books.

  31. @Samantha, what a perfect way to spend the day. Although if I ate donuts and ice cream now I'd probably gain 50 lbs LOL.

    @Michael, oh geez that's a shame. There are some problems with that here too. It's very sad that these people have nowhere else to go.

    @Inger, oh, I love the image of the red books!

  32. How wonderful! I am certain it will be a great event.

  33. Such a sweet photo. Your love of reading started early. No wonder you're a librarian Julie.

  34. Is that you reading to that adorable fur-peep.

  35. Wonderful news! :)

    Libraries were instrumental in making me the reader and writer that I am today.

  36. My very first job was as a library page, shelving books. I spent hours as a kid, going to the library and bringing home dozens of books. It was a perfect fit for me. I still enjoy going to the library, and I hope they never become obsolete.

  37. Congrats! And I love the photo of you reading to your dog.

  38. @Susan, I hope so, thanks!

    @Sheena-kay, it really did. Thanks so much.

    @shelly, it is! :)

    @Medeia, that's how I feel about libraries too.

    @MJ, perfect fit for me as well, I was the same.

    @TB, thank you!

  39. Congratulations, Julie!! That's so cool!!

    I love libraries, and do whatever I can to support my locals. I also have wonderful memories of running to the shelves and choosing what to take home :) Thanks for sharing this, and that picture is ADORABLE.

  40. How fun! I totally wish I could be there and see you both in person. I hope it's an amazing experience.

  41. @Liz, aww, thanks!

    @Crystal, I wish you could too, that would be awesome. Thanks!

  42. Congrats on attending the Ohioana Book Festival with Tara! And I also harbor fond memories of visiting the local library when I was a kid. I was really lucky that my local library was a former mansion! And within biking distance. I biked there regularly and liked to read my selections in one of the window seats. I spent many days there lost in other worlds.

  43. Cheers to libraries! As a librarian I'm sure you'll appreciate that (despite the enormous stack of books on my nightstand) every time I go in, which is often with the kids, I always find something new to add to my stack. I'm in a constant state of managing my due dates!

  44. @Kim, oh, that sounds like an amazing library. I know I would have loved going there too.

    @Johanna, LOL, it's true, sometimes the due dates can be tough to manage. :D

  45. I don't think libraries are obsolete at all. Ours expanded. But I live in a dinky town. :) I loved going to the library as a kid too. It was awesome. I checked out Man o' War about 200x.

  46. Many of our libraries around here have been expanding and rebuilding, so I sure hope they won't be obsolete!

    What an adorable picture!

    And congrats on being accepted to participate in the book festival! That's cool you get to meet Tara too!

  47. Big Congrats on being accepted to the festival! Even more validation and I can see it would help with the flumpy/slumpy thing lol.

    Libraries in the UK are on the decline too, so many are also used for other things as well as books. Which means they become much noisier and full of hustle and bustle! You are right, the digital age has taken its toll. Love that picture :) When I was young I was a library regular. Anything from Enid Blyton to Noel Streatfeild to Arthur Ransome!!

  48. @Mary, oh, I remember you writing about how much you loved horses as a kid. :)

    @Cherie, that's great to know some of the libraries in your area have grown. And thanks for the congrats!

    @Carolyn, yeah, that happens a lot here too, I guess it's a survival mechanism. Thanks!

  49. I have so many great memories of going to the library when I was a kiddo. But I also loved the Bookmobile. It would drive to our town with a selection of books. We'd climb on that ancient converted bus and browse to our hearts delight.

    Congrats on being accepted to the book festival. That's fun!

  50. Congrats on your acceptance! We have a nice library nearby, but haven't gone much since my daughter was born. But once she's a little older and beginning to read on her own, it will be a great place to spend a weekend afternoon.

  51. @Ava, oh, I know I would have loved the Bookmobile too, how fun. Thanks so much.

    @Michael, thanks! And I hope your daughter will enjoy those trips. :)

  52. Hi Julie - that will be great to meet up with Tara, but also to be one of the participating authors - definitely that'll inspire you for the months ahead.

    Loved seeing you reading to her dog and toys .. the dog looks like she should be a model! Clearly interested in the camera, while you are true to form: engrossed in your book!

    Next year I must write about libraries in Library month .. cheers Hilary

  53. @Hilary, LOL, I didn't think of that but you're right, the dog was all about the camera LOL. Thanks!


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