Saturday, August 13, 2011

Still 5, but Wiser

When I was 5 years old, I got my very first library card. I remember the thrill of having my own card! The doors now swung widely and beckoned me into that blissful world of information (and I could check books out on my own card!). I also remember the impatience at having to wait for the library to process my application, make the card, and notify me of pick-up availability. I'm pretty sure my mom got very tired of my daily query as to whether or not we could go pick up my card. (Shame, shame for making an eager 5-year-old wait to receive her very first library card...)

No longer 5, but still excited.
Yesterday, I reverted back to my 5-year-old self and got my new library card for our public library. (Applied and received it all in one day! Imagine that...) Amidst my excitement at the new privileges now bestowed upon me, I also experienced a bit of trepidation which I have come to accept as part of the degree-seeking MLIS world. Would this library meet the needs of their patrons (and consequently my needs)? Would the collection be relevant, up to date, and broad yet deep? Would the librarians be friendly and helpful? How many are degreed librarians? (Will I find a colleague among them?) Will the patrons be polite and possess the ever-elusive library etiquette?

I chuckled to myself at how differently I now see the library from that first library card experience. Dare I say I even view the library differently than I did in high school, or my first few years of undergrad? It's encouraging that I've grown up, recognized greater information needs, and can now assess and critique things on my own. But it's also a bit disheartening. I'm no longer the care-free, happy-go-lucky 5 year old that sees the library as the brand new playground. Now I immediately identify positives and negatives, things I love, areas of improvement, and the ever-present "If I were the Librarian of the Universe...."

What? I like books!
I'll save my critique of my new public library for another day. For now, I'll leave it at this: The library may have changed dramatically since my childhood summers spent idly with books, but the information world still beckons in its many forms. And for now, I've happened upon an armful of books to keep me entertained for the next two weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment