Mar 24, 2008

Meme: Library Love

I just don't feel like writing about a book today. And I liked this meme I saw on Superfast Reader a few weeks ago. So I'll answer it now, even though I'm rather late. (You can trace the meme all the way back to Becky's Book Reviews, where it began).

How do you plan on celebrating Library Lovers month?

Well, I missed it. I didn't even know there was a library lover's month until I read about it on the blogs! Although I read every day; isn't that a celebration of sorts? And I'm a very faithful patron of my local library.

How often do you accidentally spell library as ‘libary’ when you’re in a hurry?

I don't know, but I'm sure it has happened. My toddler's pronunciation of the word is pretty close to that.

What is the most amount of books you’ve ever had checked out at one time?

Recently within memory? Thirty-eight; but it wasn't all for my reading pleasure. A dozen of the stack were for my toddler, another twenty for my husband's project fixing up the house. Books checked out just for me? I'd say the largest pile was around fifteen. When I was a kid I used to bring home more at once, I probably hit the twenties or thirties then regularly. Once I visited a public library and asked what the checkout limit was; the woman at the desk said fifty! I said how could anyone carry fifty books out of the library? She said with a shopping cart. I wondered if that every really happened.

What is the longest you’ve ever gone without visiting the library?

A month or two. When I was in college I visited the library very seldom; being busy with schoolwork and most of my reading was for classes. And after my daughter was born I didn't go for a month, but my husband brought home reading material for me. There have also been times when my piles of second-hand books at home have stacked up so I didn't have a need to go to the library for a while. But I don't think it's ever been more than three months, max. Usually I go once a week, or at least twice a month.

What is the biggest fine you’ve ever had?

Five dollars. For a book I thought was lost but found before I had to pay for the copy.

When you go to the library, do you plan ahead and make a list? Or do you browse?

It depends. I used to browse a lot, but with a three-year-old who just wants to dig in the puzzle bin it's hard to meander through the stacks quietly. My TBR has grown too big to ignore, too. Now I usually look stuff up at home and bring a list. But I still manage to pick a few strangers off the shelves that catch my eye while collecting what I've come for!

Have you ever been shushed by a librarian?

Never. Not even when my kid gets too noisy, though I've received my share of stern looks (on her behalf). They are quite effective.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to a library book?

Lost it. I left one in a rental car once. And my husband's accidentally left one on the commuter train. (Luckily, someone found and returned it!) My daughter has torn a few pages. (We had to quit reading pop-up books for a while). I am guilty of occasionally dog-earing a page, though I always unfold them before returning! I'm somewhat concerned about dropping one in the bath, but so far that hasn't happened (though I did drop a cordless phone, once. It dried out okay). A board across the tub to rest your hand on is helpful, and also not reading thick hardbound books there (like the latest Harry Potter).

Have you ever had a “favorite” librarian?

Yes. The children's librarian at the Burien Public Library where I grew up. My mother took us to so many library activities. We participated in reading challenges, summer reading programs, all kinds of things. She used to have a desk in the children's section, always decorated and with cool stuff on it (like a huge jar full of gumballs. Guess how many gumballs, and you win the jar. I think my sister won it once. That sort of thing). She has the most wonderful, expressive voice and was always helpful, talked to the kids very friendly. We got lots of book recommendations from her.

If you could change one thing about your library it would be…

No charges for loans! My public library charges fees for requesting a book from another branch in the system, or for checking out videos. I don't like it at all.


  1. That children's librarian sounds wonderful! And yeah, I don't like the idea of charges for loans much either.

  2. Anonymous3/25/2008

    I like this meme. AND I finally looked up "meme" to see what it means!

    My favorite librarian was Mrs. Greenblatt in 8th grade. I'd ask her for suggestions, and it always seemed like she was saving something just for me.

  3. Charges for loans are one reason I use Paperback Swap and buy remaindered books, instead. I'm not willing to lay out money on a book I might not find the time to read or may discover is wrong for me when it arrives. So, yep, I'm with you.

    This is an interesting meme. I don't think I could answer several of the questions. I'd say, "I have no idea" quite a bit! I enjoyed reading your answers, though. Library Lovers month? Who knew? Not me.

  4. I use Paperback Swap too, but only for books I've already read and know I want to keep. After my "want" list is all fulfilled, I may begin using it to read books I can't request or get on interlibrary loan.

  5. I used to go to the libraries when I was younger, but I had stopped doing so ever since I started a job. Partly because I could afford to buy the books with my money and I didn't have to worry about not returning on time. And that goes without saying I don't even dare think of revisiting after I started a family... I should be thankful I'm able to squeeze some time reading at home! ;)

  6. I remember Mom having a rule for us: we could not check out more books than we could carry. I do remember all of us leaving the library with our arms straining to carry as many books as possible.

    The Burien library is not the same. Not only is Sandra (our favorite children's librarian) gone, but they are going to move the library to the new Burien Town Center. The old Burien library will be no more in a few years =(

  7. I did talk to Sandra once when I went back on a college visit; she was no longer on the children's section floor but working in the back. I'm sad to hear she's gone. And very sad to hear it's moving! I loved that location in the tall trees next to the park and little art gallery up the hill. Where is the new Burien Town Center located?

  8. Burien Town Center is going to be on the NW corner of 4th Ave and 151st, or close to there. I agree that it won't be the same. I am going to try and visit the library more often to enjoy it before it is gone.

    Did you get to visit the newish Downtown Seattle Library? it is very interesting.

  9. No; I haven't seen the new downtown library, but I certainly would like to next time I visit.


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