Library Memories…

June 28, 2019

Do you recall your very first library, a special librarian? When you think back do all the sights and smells coming rushing back to you? We posed these questions on our social media earlier this year and we were delighted with the responses. In fact, we were OVERWHELMED! We are sharing a selection of them with you over the next few months because there were simply soooo many! 

Amy J- I grew up regularly going to the Wellington Library with my mom. The kid’s section was straight through the front door to the back. There was a raised section and I can still hear the hollow sound of the carpeted steps on the way to those cubbies. I have loved the library so much, in fact, I “Dewey Decimal’d” all my books in my room when I was a kid and made my family use my bedroom library. I’ve been a devoted library user ever since, no matter where in the world I’ve lived. My kids have had their own library cards since birth.

Meaghan C-.Calling the Kelowna library and listening to Bill Richardson read children’s stories – 1978/79

Donna Mae F– Begging my dad to take me back because I had already read all of the books that I had taken out that day…1958/59ish. Yup- I have had a library card for a VERY long time

Dawn C-I was always a voracious reader and from the time I was six or seven. My first solo walks were walks to the library: crossing the highway and climbing up to the second floor of the Levack Employee’s club where treasures awaited. The librarian made an exception for me getting an “adult card” at about 8 years of age. Children had buff coloured library cards, adults had orange cards. The cards had several lined columns that were date stamped with the due date and put into a pocket in the back of the book you checked out. Over time I had a thick wedge of stapled together cards so thick it wouldn’t fit in the pocket.

Kathy D For 2 years I went to grades 2 and 3 on Uplands Air Force Base by Ottawa. I felt so safe, accepted and happy in the library, a mobile library. I loved the librarian. I used to take out books for myself and for a brother 5 years younger. ’58 and ’59.

Kelly G-It was a small library and the librarians were Mrs Sly and Mrs Archibald. I was able to walk there on my own from a very young age and just spend time breathing in the scent of books. My questions were always answered and I was never discouraged from reading “above my age”. This was definitely a huge contributing factor to my love of books and reading!

Denman M- The bookmobile bus that came every couple of weeks to the end of our street – better than Xmas morning !!!

Frances N- I remember looking through a mess of books on the floor in a beautiful old stone building (the St. John’s Library in Winnipeg). I remember picking a bunch of books and there was one with fairly large, friendly print and simple words and I surprised myself because I could read it.

Shauna H- You are my very first library! (Chemainus) My earliest memories would be of story time when you were in your old location, either in Bonnie Martin Eats or next door…

Shirley M-My first memories of my childhood library are the anticipation and the great feeling of choosing my books and diving into them as soon as I got home. Many volunteers, including my mom, worked in the library. We are lucky to have the wonderful library we have here in Ukee!! Thank you to the great staff!! My childhood memories are of when the library was situated in what is now the Ucluelet District Office.

Debby V-We had an occasional bookmobile and a mail-order library, run through the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. That’s the one I loved. Read many, many classics when I was young, just picking them from a list, having no idea what I was really getting.

Samantha P- I remember going to the library with my family and thinking about how massive it was. Two stories tall. My favourite was returning the books to go pick out new ones. Also, they had how the Grinch Stole Christmas, on VHS don’t know how many times we borrowed that.

Sandra H-The library in Chilliwack and spending AT LEAST 15-20 minutes watching the goldfish ponds searching for my FAVE koi buddy.

Patricia A-Summer holidays I remember the bookmobile coming by my aunt’s place on old Lake Cowichan highway. Used to love climbing on board to see what there was.

John L-The Carnegie Library in Las Vegas, New Mexico. I was in grade 3 and checked out all the Oz books.

Cara S-My childhood library was the elementary school library and it was my favourite thing about going to school. I visited it almost every day to take out and return books. I had eight brothers and sisters, so reading was my opportunity to tune out the chaos. The closet in my bedroom was quite big and had a built-in shelf that was big enough for me to curl up in to read.

Katie M-I remember the library was in what used to be a bank and the children’s section was in the vault. The original doors were still there. The librarian was so enthusiastic and loved to read to us when we came.

Judy J- I lived in a small town in Northwest Ontario. Our library was a shed-sized building. It had a wood stove with a fire in it for warmth. So it was very crowded. Only about 2 or 3 could go in at a time. I loved going there! I got Trixie Belden stories!

Cathy P-Tucked into a quiet corner of the Moose Jaw Public Library reading Beatrix Potter Stories

Caitlin B-Books by Mail! As a kid, I lived in a remote community and looked forward to the selection of library books we would get every few weeks or month by mail. I hope that program still exists for those living in remote areas!

Sarah D- I remember the really long hallway my sister and I would race down to get to the library and how we would take forever to choose our books for the week.

Tikki B- Leif and the Bookmobile in Lantzville. We’d all pile in and he’d read us a story. Made me love libraries.

Barbara C-I had a cardboard card with a metal tab attached that went into a machine and stamped my card number on the book card which stayed at the library. Proud to say I never had a fine for late return. This was in the 1940s.

Nancy M-I have many, but one favourite memory is the Bookmobile stopping in front of our house. I loved roaming the bus in search of new books to read

Mary T- Taking the bus across the Lions Gate bridge and going to the Vancouver Public library. I was helped by a kind woman who steered me in the direction of the children’s books (as I was following my older siblings in their section). She showed me “Blueberries for Sal”. It was a great day as I discovered there were books I could read, and so many. It made those regular trips to the library so much more interesting.

Kristi M- I loved the big giant bench in the kid’s section that was great for reading and climbing on

Gloria R- It was probably in the late ’50s or early ’60s in North Burnaby. The Bookmobile would show up about once a week I think. Loved it!

Tracy L- Saturday morning story time with Mrs Jean Brown. The library was in the Mildred Child Annex at that time. Whoa, I’m dating myself!

Sara D- School book fairs and the elementary school library and my school was right near where Robert Munsch lived so he would come in to read to us once or twice a year and Barbara Reid also visited our school and her illustrations are still my favourite!

Maureen L- Babar the Elephant

Jacquie N- My memory is going to where, I believe is called Caroline’s Boutique, and going in and getting to choose books to read. Yep, been a member of the Sooke branch for that long!