Today, as my dad and I parked in the lot of the town library, he instructed me to "take a deep breathe, walk around and try to find something you like about it." I tried but failed. Why, you ask, does my disdain for the library run so deep? Well, you may remember my post about the grand opening where I publicly apologized for my rude behavior in the shuttle line. Anyway...the reason I was so on edge that day was perhaps because I was so angry about the new library.
You see, the old library was situated right on the campus of my old high school. I had been going three ever since I was a little girl, it was the end destination of countless family bike trips, the place where I spent many evenings in late elementary school while my mom studied. A place where my love for reading was fed and fostered, where I would roam around the children's section, picking out Henry and Mudge and Amanda Pig books. Where I turned the tall movie rung around and around in search of just the right Mary Kate and Ashley movie. It was the place where I took my first creative writing classes, spending hours each week poised over a yellow legal pad, excited beyond reason to share my work with the class.
It was at that old library where I found my haven during those high school years. I never had to fear if my parents were late to pick me up or if I stayed after school for help. I never had to have that nagging worry that plagued me my whole life, that I would have to stand alone in front of the school and fret about kidnappers. I always had the safety of that library, right next door. And every single day I would get picked up there. Certain days, right at three o'clock or just shortly after, it was then that I would wait in the little antechamber that the librarians were always telling kids to keep it down in. Other times, I'd stay there until four or five if I had to wait for my mom to get off work. I would get science tutoring or peruse the fiction section, sitting in the incredibly comfortable yellow chairs. I always felt safe there, surrounded by books and the same librarians I'd known since I was a little girl, asking if they had a certain Bernstein Bear book.
I loved that library.
When they announced that they were planning on building a whole new building, in a whole new spot, I was a Senior. At first I panicked, how in the world could I handle not having my library there for me? I rushed inside it that day and asked a librarian of the timeline for the move and she assured me that it would be well into 2013. I was immensity but still distraught that the library was moving.
Then the day came when it finally happened and I was dismayed to see the end result. One large open space, glass rooms and giant windows. Exposed shelves of books, a cafe with just vending machines. Gone were the cozy nooks and crannies, gone were the hidden magazine shelves that I used to love to go on archaeological digs through. Gone were the cubicles I had once studied for exams in, gone were the gall bookshelves I'd had to use a stool to reach. I was left with a big open expanse of space where the main focus appeared to be nature (the theme) instead of reading. I was dismayed and I still am.
I miss my old library.
And I'll never like this new one.