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It's National Library Week!

Date: 04/15/2014
Category: Opportunities & Events
By: Andy Shaner

It's National Library Week and, in my worst Johnny Carson impersonation, I did not know that. That is until I received an email today about it.

As you all probably know, ALA has a page about the week on its website. Did you see who the honorary chair is for the week? Judy Blume! Superfudge!

Just before I started writing up this blog entry, I thought about how I have used libraries in my life. In elementary school I always looked forward to visiting the library in my school. It had a really cool setup (does anybody know what I mean when I say it had a story-well?) and I was always amazed at the number of books. During the summer, I participated in a reading program at my neighborhood library. When I reached middle school, I did a lot of research at my neighborhood library, but never once checked out a book from my school library. In fact, the only time I ever walked into my school library was to take a shortcut during passing periods! Not much changed in high school. I did a little research in my school library, but most of the time I drove to our city library's main branch downtown to do research, or to just escape to a quiet place to think.

By the time I got to college, I did not visit the public library. The main campus library was my retreat for a place to study or to go where it was quiet. I won't say what it was famous for, but the third floor of the main library at my undergrad university was once ranked third in the country for something having nothing to do with research or studying. In grad school, the science and engineering library was where I spent all my library time. All the journals I needed were located in the basement. It was c-r-e-e-p-y. I never stayed longer than was absolutely necessary.

Since grad school, and taking my current position at LPI, most of my library time has been spent in the LPI library, which is actually a public library! The collection of globes and maps are really cool. Our library has Mars maps that pre-date robotic exploration of the planet. Over the past year, I have found myself spending time at the Clayton Genealogy Library in  downtown Houston. The family history I have uncovered at the Clayton library is incredible, but that's a story for another time.

So, I guess you could say libraries have played a role in many aspects of my life. I, for one, am glad they are out there. So, please, keep doing what you do!

By the way, did you catch the April 14-15 lunar eclipse?

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