Mar 8, 2008

I Love a Good Library

Laurina is much better about using the library than I am...I’ve gotten lazy over these last 20 years of being a book reviewer, because I get so many books sent to me that there’s always something to read, so I never actually need to go to the library to find something.

But since we started our trip and are trying to visit libraries wherever we go, I find myself amazed at all of the changes made since the last time I hung out in a library. For starters, do you know that they now allow food??!! Well, some of them, anyway, in designated places.

When we visited the Phoenix Public Library’s Central branch, we stumbled into the Teen section, which resembled a clubhouse more than a library (except, of course, that there were books all around the walls.) There was a large group of computers, every one occupied by a teen and several more looking over his/her shoulder. All of them were drinking sodas or eating snacks! And there was a line of kids waiting to play Guitar Hero on the giant screen in a small theater-type section. Needless to say, there was a lot of chatter and no “shushing.” The times, they are a-changed. I was happy to see that the very large graphic novel section seemed to be extremely well used as most of the books had obviously been read many times.

Before we left the library we stopped in the children’s section, of course. They were hosting a display of the original art for The Berenstain Bears Out West. You know, it’s easy to dismiss the Berenstain Bear books, the way folks used to dismiss the Golden books – mass market, a bit preachy – but lately I’ve been reading (and reading, and reading) them to my niece (she’s 4) and my nephew (he’s 2) and they both love them. So anyway, the paintings were beautiful!

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