Check It Out!

I don’t know why this surprises and pleases me so much. But it does. I grew up LOVING libraries.

We had an old stone Carnegie Library on main street in my home town. Carnegie built 1,689 libraries in the United States. By 1929 he had built over 50% of all American libraries. “My” Carnegie was built in Valley City in 1903 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places in America. It is one of the only three remaining relatively unchanged in North Dakota.

Carnegie capture

I remember the hushed mystery of climbing the massive stone steps and entering the building. The stuffed owls that eyed me as I turned right and walked down the steps to the children’s section in the basement. I remember the first time I snuck upstairs to the adult books, shelves far above my head, books bigger than I’d ever seen. I remember being brave enough to grab a book off the shelf – the biggest one I could reach – and bringing it up to the librarian. She checked it out for me and I hid it and read it late at night. Hawaii by James Michener. I didn’t understand half of it, but fell in love with the story, the tropical scenes, the way a book could carry me across the oceans and back into history.

So now, there’s my book. In the library. I’m touched and grateful. It is an honor to be a part of a system that has been a blessing and joy to me all of my life. They’ve ordered 5 copies. There are 6 holds on the first copy returned. Incredible!

Library capture

There are five other Kandels in the library: Eric, Joseph, Michael, Paul, Stephen, and Susan. They write about everything from memory, to cyberiad, to  headache cures. Interested in Batman or The Hunchback of Notre Dame? There’s a Kandel involved somewhere, somehow. I might just have to look them up.

Seven Kandels, capture

Here’s to libraries. They are fantastic places. If you’re not familiar you just might want to find one and Check it Out! 

Jill Kandel
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