My mom, brother and I visited the Lucy Robins Wells Library yesterday…and the nostalgia kick in. The place looked nearly the exact same way as I remembered it at least 4 years ago.
When we were younger, we used to visit the library all of the time; sleepovers in the library, going there for story time, using their computers strictly to go on AIM but the limit was only an hour… the list goes on and on. We would rent VHS movies, Zoobilee Zoo was my favorite. We would rent books on tape because we would rather listen to books than actually read them.
Yesterday, my mom dragged me into the kids section because she saw a librarian that she recognized from years back. I remembered her too, but assumed she didn’t remember us. I’m 20 and my brother is 18, both of our library cards expired in 2013… and she must meet thousands of children a year. How could she possibly remember us? My mom insisted she remembered her and that they were “friends” but my brother thought she was crazy…
There was a contest to win a free iPad or a Kindle. All you had to do was write down your name and phone number, then place it in the bucket for whichever prize you wanted. I held back assuming that the age limit was probably like 12 and under, and I didn’t want to ask our “friend,” the librarian.
But, wow, have times changed. The librarian shared that there are not as many events anymore at the library because the budget has been cut. Story time…is it even a thing? Don’t worry, the computer time is still limited to an hour but I’m sure no one is going on to use AIM anymore. The VHS section has been switched to all DVDs, and there is even a new video game section. The area that we used to play computer games is no long computers, but now iPads. The books on tape that we used to love were gone. Self explanatory- who has a cassette player anymore?
We learned that once you reach high school, you are now considered an adult and you have to sign up for your own library card… your parent or guardian can’t do it for you. What kind of system is that? I still can’t call my doctor to make an appointment once a year and I’m 20.
As we grew older (into library adults), we outgrew the upstairs kid section and would have to go downstairs to look for books. Of course, the only books I went there for were the summer reading assignments that I had to do for school. And going there only a few weeks before school started meant that all of the good books were taken and I had to search for one that actually interested me. And then there was my brother, Jeffrey… he would get a Captain Underpants book for the third year in a row.
Sometimes, I would look at the downstairs DVD section. It was no longer Monster’s Inc. and Barbie movies, but it was more “adult like movies”– ones that were rated R that I’ve heard of, but never seen. I’d try to always sneak them to the check out, but my mom would read the back description before we scanned them to take home. The answer was usually no. 🙁
On our way out, a middle school aged boy went up to the circulation desk and asked what time the next chess club meeting was. It’s nice to know that people still find the library activities an important part of their childhood. Visiting the library again made me realize how much time I actually spent there when I was younger. Shout out to my mom for driving me there in her mini van all of the time. That may be the only thing that hasn’t changed…