Thank you, my Illinois library, for creating an expanse of accessible books to those who live next door and those who live an ocean away. Your effort to create this haven of enrichment, adventure, and knowledge is not unnoticed.
With every book recommendation, I drop by your institution first, in case you are one step ahead. You usually are. The delight of selecting my next read or even those gentle reminders that my book is expiring soon and will shortly disappear from my account makes me glad to be a name, even a number, in your system.
On those rare occasions when I step through your creaky door–the one with the same creak since I was little–I take in the smell of the aisles and piles of books and wish I had unmitigated time to read, to learn, to grow.
I remember wandering among those stories, getting lost in The Boxcar Children or Garfield, Gilbert Morris or biographies. I sorted through research paper books to find the ones that didn’t make my eyes glaze over on the first page. I stood before your wall of audio books before every trip. I thumbed through your discard pile to find five cent treasures.
All the time, you were there, like a committed friend, offering what I needed if I had the patience to look for it. Apt to teach. Apt to serve.