Sunday, August 23, 2015

Who Did You Read This Summer? Share the 2015 Summer Library Series

Well, dear readers, we have arrived at the end of the 2015 Summer Library Series.  All summer long, authors have reminisced about their childhood memories in the library, from Philadelphia to Switzerland to Roma, Texas.  Thank you for following the series, whether you discovered it this season or have been with us from the beginning.  
Children gathered around a table of books,
Central Circulating Library at College and St. George Streets,
Toronto, Ontario
Used under CC license
Please thank the contributing authors by rereading their work, telling your librarian about this series, by sending the writers a personal note via their websites, or by sharing your favorite author's reflection on your Facebook wall. 
Any time an author hears from a reader is incredibly wonderful, as it helps assure us that readers do exist--for much of what we hear is that readers don't exist or that people just don't read like they used to or [fill in any other anecdote about the death of reading]. 
One effect of this is an intensity of doubt that jeopardizes a writer's confidence while writing, before writing, or after writing for the day.  And any time an artist starts to doubt the importance of art and the world is a bad time for the artist and the world. 
So, as readers, please help other readers discover these writers, just as you have. 
I'm very proud to have hosted another successful season, and I hope you've found the series one that you think about in the passing moments.  May you check out an abundance of books from your local library between now and next summer.  Our communities depend on it.

by Simone Zelitch 
Bustelton Library
The Bustleton branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia looks like a highway rest step: a single-story structure with long, narrow windows and a corrugated green roof.  It’s located next to Washington High school, which was an easy walk from our house in Northeast Philadelphia.  My mother claims that she took out fifteen books a week for me.  I never came along which made the process more efficient, but could be the reason why I have no early memories of libraries, no sentimental images of choosing my own read-out-loud book and watching a librarian stamp it with the due-date.  It also may explain why I couldn’t grasp that these library books were shared property.   I’d dog-ear pages, crack spines, and stain whatever I was reading with whatever I was eating at the time.   You might say that I left my mark.  [Continue reading]


Bookmobile, TimberlandRegional Library 1 
"No longer in service, this old TRL bookmobile now resides on private property
just south of Amanda Park, Washington. Photo taken 19 Dec 2011. Library Service to this area of rural
Washington is now provided by the Amanda Park branch of Timberland Regional Library."
Used under CC license

By Maya Jewell Zeller

Where my family lived wasn’t a town. It was a series of backroads off Rural Route 4, a river bend tourists would have driven past—or did—if it wasn’t for their interest in the covered bridge, promised like a Meryl Streep movie, if you take the turn indicated and head down the hill, past the tangle of maple and alder, sword fern and salmonberry, through the field of hay grass and thistle with the nettled edge. [Continue reading]
by Regi Claire
Primarschule MÅ«nchwilen,
Photo by Roland Zumbuehl

When I was eight, I read a whole library. A library? Yes. Housed in a small attic room with a combed ceiling, up a steep flight of wooden stairs from the stone-flagged second floor of my village primary school. But why the sink and cupboards? Why the thick cigarette smoke? Well, the library must have been an afterthought. [Continue reading]


Liz Rognes


Summers in Lake Mills, Iowa meant long, hazy, humid days. My mom would drop my siblings and me off at the town pool for morning swimming lessons, two miles away from our farm, and then we would walk a few blocks to my grandma’s house, wrapped in our towels, our skin smelling of chlorine and salty sweat. My Grandma Bea was an Irish Catholic Democrat, the kind who fervently believed in social justice and local participation. She was on the Board of Directors for the public library, and she or my mom would take us every week for story hour or just to check out books. When we were old enough, we could walk by ourselves from Grandma’s house to the library across the street: a small, unassuming building on the outside, but on the inside filled to the brim with books and stories about the big, exciting, incomprehensible world outside of our little Iowa farm town. [Continue reading]
This Book: One Week
Emilia Rodriguez


Photograph shows a girl with long dark hair, her back to the left side of the picture. She wears a green and red plaid shirt. She has a hesitant expression.
Emilia Rodriguez as a child,
Used with author's permission

We didn’t stay in places very long when I was young.  My parents were born in Mexico.  My father was not a U.S. citizen.  We moved to Fort Worth, TX when I was in the first grade.  Until then, all of my classes had been bilingual.  Spanish was my first language.  My English was shaky.  I could read a little and watch cartoons, but holding a conversation was difficult. [Continue reading]

Ben Cartwright 
The Cartwright Family,
Used with author's permission
Dear Spokane Valley Library (1980),
My mother was losing it.  School canceled for a week, noonday sky black and missing the sun's round punctuation, so faces covered in surgical masks (because of St. Helen's) we clambered into the Volkswagen bus.  Ash in the streets made crests and troughs under our tires.  Laneless, we stuttered over Sprague, crept around the S-curves of Main, wipers set to high and accomplishing nothing.  My mother, driving blind and sobbing, triggered a sympathy response in my sister, and their chorus of lamentation as I held my finger to my small mouth, made the noise a librarian makes when she (the ones I loved were always she) tells the world to remain silent, to keep a kind of order, for a while.  Your square door was lit yellow and bright.  It was the end of the world.  I left the van first. [Continue reading]
Walking to East Branch
Carol (Ryan) Pringle
The East Branch Library, Evansville, IN
From EVLP History
Opened in 1913, the year of my mother's birth, the East Branch of Evansville, Indiana system (now called East Branch of Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library) was the library of choice for our family, as it was within walking distance from our home 6 blocks away.  By the time I was old enough to read and walk to the library with Mother, my sister, and brother, it was 1945; Dad was finishing his World War II Army service, so wasn't home to walk with us. [Continue reading]

Please visit again.
Photograph "Chesapeake Library" by Bill Smith
Used under CC license