In junior high, I volunteered in the school’s library, returning books, freshly checked-in, to their places on the shelves. At the beginning of each shift, I would pull each and every book out to the edge of the shelf, giving the whole room a wondrous uniformity. It was in this library that I first witnessed – and was a part of – the modernization of the catalog world as I meticulously entered each card into a computer database and allowed the librarian’s world to become more mechanized.
In college, I would reaffirm my gratitude to the library by volunteering each week at the Arcata branch of the Humboldt County Library. Under the tutelage of Maggie, the head librarian, I sorted and shelved books, checked them in, stamped due-date cards as I dreamed of my own soon-to-be-written stories – I even helped keep the community room and restrooms sparkling – anything that aided in keeping the library open. Plus, I was given the privilege of being the Children’s Story Time reader when Maggie wasn’t available, introducing new generations to the alchemy of words and developing a handy knack of being able to read pages upside down.
My most recent incarnation of library volunteer is as a board member for the Nevada County Friends of the Library. I’ll be assembling the newsletter and maintaining and growing its social media presence. It’s good to be giving back to this bewitching realm once again.
Libraries started me on the path that I continue on to this day, and I’ll be forever in debt to those book-lined shelves, dedicated librarians, and the pulsing enchantment that resides within each and every place that allows anyone to seek a story for free. All you need is a small card, which much like the TARDIS is bigger on the inside, and is full of the potential of every human mind that has – and will exist.