a while ago now, I mentioned the daughter won an “I Love the Library” essay contest with the local Library District. I’m still not sure what the age group was, but when we went to the book fair hosted by the local Barnes & Noble we were pleased to see there were a nice number of essays by kids N’s age on display, and some of them were pretty good. We tend to preference a good game win in our house.
N won: a tote; a book holder/portable shelf (ends slide along multiple rails that the books can rest on)–she loves this thing; a very bright night light; energy efficient light bulb; book mark; voucher to cover a small amount of fines she might incur; a thumb drive; two books: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney and a Warriors series book (the 2nd series) by Erin Hunter. That is all I can recall off the top of my head. It was a great bag of loot.
The parameters of the essay contest were left wide open but for the “under 500 words please.” Natalya opted for a creative approach to her essay. [While this should go without saying, I am going to say it anyhow: please seek permission to use this essay or any part of this essay.] I thought to just link the site where they posted the winning essays online, but am unsure how long they will maintain it. And since we just so happen to have a copy lying around…..
My Love of a Public Library
by Natalya Hill (age 10, February 2011)
In the warm folds of summer I seek refuge in the depths of the public library. Cool air hits my face, but this is not the reason I come. It relieves me to hear the musical notes of paper brushing paper and the closing of books. The heavenly smell of new untouched pages. Any thirst that I carry is quenched and I feel stronger than before.
I can retreat into another’s world. I can sink into a chair and never be alone as the books are my companions. They seem to have empathy and they travel with me, faithful until the end. Creatures of fantasy leap from page to page. Mysteries creep through chapters. Action keeps you balancing on your toes. When you read you experience the wonders of the library; a place to rest from a long journey or the suspense of being so close to the answer.
Mere black-printed text becomes a gorgeous meadow or a stark battle field. The strategic words and rhythm inspire passion and imagination. It is so strange that one book can encourage the most hopeless people in life to be ambitious and do something with their lives. Reading and Writing have changed the course of history, both great and small.
The public library is a sanctuary for me. No mocking laughter and no “must do’s” at all. The library is bliss. Our own school library seems depleted and we must read to earn points. What if you want to read a book but it isn’t worth points? But here I can explore my limits and stretch my mind more than I can at school.
The atmosphere is wonderful in the library, the smiles, meaningless murmuring, and the widening of eyes. The laughter of innocent children that wander, not quite understanding the joy hidden throughout the proud shelves, warms my heart–to know that they will find love for some of the same things I do.
Imagine people treasuring their books; yet there are millions of people who cannot afford to have one and are robbed of that joy. Here anyone can explore the wonders of reading and ownership. The public library belongs to us all.
I can compare the library to many beautiful things but that would take too long so here is a poem I have written for the library.
Love, dreams, hope, and
Housed in a place so wonderfully strange.
The Buildings so often ordinary a face.
Without such places the world would fall
Into anger and despair, and
Into the unchanging human.
Inspiration comes from a sanctuary
Where a new future would originate: