Nobody does it better

Makes me feel sad for the rest

Nobody does it half as good as you

Baby, you’re the best…

Carly Simon first sang those words in 1977 but they come to mind today as I compose a love letter to the library during this Library Lovers’ Month.

I grew up in a family in which reading was a way of life. There were books and magazines always available in my house. I was the youngest so I could always find someone in the family to read to me before I learned to read for myself. The best gifts for Christmas and birthdays were books to fill my own little library. My first two favorites, Captain Kitty and The Christmas Whale, were great adventures and took me to exotic places!

My grade school did not yet have a centralized library. Each classroom had their own library with books appropriate for the grade level. We were expected to keep a log of what we read and were rewarded with stickers after completing the prescribed number of books. The stickers weren’t important to me. I just enjoyed plowing through those classroom shelves and learning new and exciting things.

I don’t remember who first took me to the little public library in Fall Creek but I knew it was there calling to me. After I learned to ride a bike and was old enough to leave the yard by myself I would go there, climb the steep, dark staircase and cross the creaky floors to the children’s section. In the dim lights I discovered Trixie Beldon and Nancy Drew. I checked out and read every book in those series. There was no judgement at the library. No one told me I should read something else more edifying.

I can’t imagine what it must be like in a country or community without a public library. That’s what makes me “sad for the rest.” I have joined a couple book and movie discussion groups on Facebook. It always amazes me when someone posts to complain that certain titles they want are out-of-print or unavailable to them. What? They have nothing like our MORE System? I can find almost everything there. It’s like I have my own personal Amazon warehouse at my disposal. No credit card necessary!

We are fortunate to have a library filled with not only books to read but various types of media to hear and see and feel. It’s a wonderful place to meet at times with others to learn something new. Or it can be a place of quiet solitude when that is necessary. Our librarians do a tremendous job making all the resources available to us.

Dear Library, you’re the best!

Marty Rugotzke

Friends of the Library President