There is a place that I spend a fair amount of time. I have had a love of this place, in it’s various forms since childhood. It’s always been a safe place. And a source of inspiration. And luckily I’ve rediscovered it in recent years.
The library. Home of books. Of quiet inspiration. Of endless possibilities. Inclusive of everyone.
My earliest memory of loving libraries was in elementary school when my best friend and I would check out Beach Boy albums and go into the soundproof music room and blare the music and dance! No one could hear us, but they could see us through the window and we would laugh and sing and be utterly thrilled at this easy form of fun.
My next significant memory of libraries was as a teenager, working in the most beautiful library in a Frank Lloyd Wright building in Marin County, California where I grew up. I would put books away for hours on end for barely a pittance, but loved to be surrounded by the smell and feel of the books and the quiet serenity.
Ever since I have embraced the opportunities I have had to be around books. Living in the expansive city of Los Angeles, I embraced first the Doheny Library at my college, USC and then the beautiful Richard Riordan Downtown Los Angeles Central Library. The architecture of the buildings, the collections, the artwork, the sense of history and culture – I can never get enough of all that these libraries have to offer.
Although I visit my local branch library in Sherman Oaks, California almost every week, I try to visit the beautiful downtown Central Library several times each year. There are about 74 regional LA library branches and I realize I have only visited 4! Because they have such distinct personalities, I am inspired to visit more in the coming year.
To me, libraries are a gift we give to ourselves. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your socio-economic status is, we are all equals in the eyes of the library. Knowledge, to the extent you seek it is free. Inspiration is everywhere. Serenity, peace or whatever it means to you – exists there for all of us to share in.