Thursday, October 25, 2007

Northboro (Part 4 of 7)

Continuing our photo-tour of Northboro... In chapter seven, Julie runs into this library:

Northboro Public Library

... and ducks behind the book return box inside this entryway:

Side Entrance to Library

I went to this library constantly when I was growing up. I have clear memories of discovering Trixie Belden in this library. And Ruth Chew. And Lloyd Alexander. And the book that I took out most often of all: Alanna by Tamora Pierce. My friend Gillian loaned me that book in fifth grade (not-so-coincidentally, the same year that I decided that I wanted to be a writer). I remember being very nervous to have a book that was checked out to someone else. If I failed to return it... disaster!

There's harsh punishment if you are at fault for not returning a friend's book. First, the library gargoyles (all libraries have them, even if they're not visible) taunt you. Next, the Cat in the Hat trashes your house, and all the rabbits from Watership Down eat your entire yard...

Anyway, I used to take out so many books from this library that my mom had to institute a rule simply to keep her back from breaking: I could only take out as many books as I could carry. So I got really good at stretching out my arms and fitting a zillion books between my outstretched fingertips and my chin.

They recently started a major renovation project for the Northboro Public Library, so it is currently under construction. In a year or two, it will look totally different from how both Julie and I remember it. But it will still house Lloyd Alexander, Tamora Pierce, Ruth Chew... and now Sarah Beth Durst!!! OMG, that's such a cool thought. There could be some kid in Northboro taking my book out of that very library that I went to and maybe thinking to him/herself, "I want to be a writer too..."

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At 8:33 AM, Blogger Faith said...

Trixie Belden! Woot! (I read Trixie Belden constantly when I was a kid.)

At 12:31 AM, Blogger Alyssa F said...

My mom institued that "no more books than you can carry" rule too. Amazing how long your arms can stretch when you're trying to get as many books home as possible... :-)

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Th Northboro Public Library was also a haven for me - I still remember VIVIDLY Jean Langley, she was the children's librarian at the time (now head librarian) and I remember her suggesting books such as Harriet the Spy and From The Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frakenweiler. Gosh I loved that place! Remember what a thrill it was when you could finally check out a book from "upstairs"!!

At 1:09 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Faith: Me too! I recently got my hands on copies of the first two books. Total trip down memory lane. I love rereading books. It's like visiting old friends.

Alyssa: First time I went to a library with my husband, he gallantly offered to carry my books. He has much longer arms than I do. It was AWESOME.

Kathy: Yes! I have such vivid memories of taking out books from upstairs. I think Watership Down was one of the first books I took out from the grown-up section.

At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very cool thought: "There could be some kid in Northboro taking my book out of that very library that I went to and maybe thinking to him/herself, "I want to be a writer too...""

I loved my childhood library, too. And also Trixie Belden, though I think I discovered them through a gift. Glad you're having such a great tour.

At 11:41 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Jen: During one of my school visits this past week, a kid came up to me after my presentation and said, "You just gave me an idea for a story!" Another day, I asked the students in the audience how many wanted to become writers, and at least half the kids raised their hands. Very, very cool.


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