Last week, National Public Radio covered the story of the first woman and first African-American sworn in as librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden.
Dr. Hayden said one of her first priorities is to digitize the more than 162 million items in the library’s collection. These materials include the Bible Rosa Parks carried in her purse and her handwritten notes about how she felt being arrested as well as the contents of President Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated. She wants to give the American people access to these iconic materials as well as cataloging the hundreds of thousands of books submitted each year.
The interviewer asked Dr. Hayden what purposes do libraries serve now that we all have electronic devices which can store and provide access to more information than we could ever need or want. She said, “Public libraries are used at record numbers now,” by people wanting a physical space and the assistance of those who work there, whom she calls “the original search engines.”
So, today, let’s write about libraries. What’s been your history with libraries? Did you go to the library as a child? If so, what did you do there? Do you have a memory of a particular experience at the library? Do you have memories of a certain librarian? Do you still use the library? How so? Write about your experiences at the library, both old and new.