Thursday, April 2, 2009

BTT: Library Week

Dear Me,
As suggested by Barbara:

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

Here in the Philippines, public libraries are most often neglected not only in terms of books and other reading materials acquisition but also the entire library itself. For a country wherein the government holds education in high value, its public libraries are a great study of contrast.

Although, there are still public libraries that are well-kept by librarians and humanitarians who share their passions to the children of the poor. (I wish that those private and well-maintained libraries managed by private organizations also funnel their resources to these ill-forgotten public libraries. After all, it's for the little generation of this nation.)

I started utilizing our public library when I was already in my university years. It was during my first year of college when I decided to check our public library. Unfortunately, it didn't offer much for the materials I needed for my research were not available. The idea of visiting other city libraries grew on me as I become frustrated in gathering related sources for my research. Some offered little but most often, the information were already obsolete and outdated.

In terms of reading, somehow I agree that both the bookstore and the phenomenon of coffee shops has replaced the library. Here, almost all the bookstores have a reading area where you can not only browse but read the books. When it comes to coffee shops, the place is not only where you drink and savor the aroma of your favorite cafe and chat with friends but it has also evolved as a venue for people to flip the pages of their books and while the time reading and finishing a novel. I am guilty on both counts.

I first step foot in our school library when I was in elementary grade. Ours wasn't a friendly place at all. It was kinda dark and gloomy, more like scary because only a handful number of souls go there.

But I dared myself and learned to peek through the ominous-looking mahogany shelves. I saw books, small and big, entirely hardbounds and discovered Nancy Drew.

It was my break time and my Chinese classes were about to start. I only read a few pages and I got hooked. From there on, I sneaked every available time I had just to go to our scary library to read Nancy Drew.

Our handsome although stern-looking librarian caught up with me one time and asked me why I frequent the library (he said that during that time I was the only person who constantly visit the library without fail). I told him that I liked reading all those Nancy Drew stories; that I never thought that our library had such great, interesting books (yeah, I was so naive then). He laughed. I wondered why he laughed but instead of replying, he told me to approach him the next time I visit. I told him that I would be there later in the day to read. Much to my delight, our handsome but strict accommodating Chinese librarian provided me a library card so I could bring some books home.

Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries? I think I would like a combination of both. I would love to spend reading time in a library and I think I would prefer the ambiance of the older, darker, quiet and cozy libraries. If I'll be doing research, I would prefer the amenities of the sleek, modern, active libraries. :)

Libraries are close to my heart for that one step that took me inside sprang a passion for reading and loving books.

1 comment:

  1. Love that story :)
    And better late than never


It is always refreshing to know what is in your mind. Thanks!