I love libraries. And librarians. That love started when I was a small critter. I didn’t have friends as a kid (we now understand something of Asperger’s so I know now why I was unable to figure out social dynamics, but I digress…), so books were my friends. As was the librarian at the Thomas Jefferson Branch of the Detroit Public Library. There were several there, but one was my favorite; she took an interest in me, and always made sure she was available if she saw me come in.
Back in those days, kids could walk, even at the age of six or so, where we wanted, as long as our moms knew where we were going, so I would trek the four blocks (0.6 miles – I looked it up) to the library as often as I could.
We were only supposed to be able to check out three books at a time, and I would do so, and bring them back maybe two days later. The librarian would doubt I read them and ask me questions about the books. I’d answer them, and I guess I impressed her because she raised the limit of books I could take home at a time, so I wouldn’t have to trek back quite so soon (I never waited until they were due; I wanted more to read). Imagine a six or seven year old carrying a stack of books almost to her chin all the way home and then back to the library less than a week later. Yep, that was me.
She was kind, and she encouraged me. I think I read every single book in the children’s section by the time I was seven or eight, so she showed me how to use the card catalog (which also led to learning the Dewey Decimal System), and she gave me suggestions on books to read when I expressed an interest in new topics: spies, botany, geology – she never made fun of my eclectic interests, just pointed me in the right direction.
I don’t remember her name after all these years, but she was instrumental in my life in so many ways. I owe so much to her. Miss Librarian, thank you!