Dear Public Library:
I know it has been obvious for quite some time that I have strong feelings for you. OK, I’ll admit it, I love you. When it comes to places to go with my kids, you were always toward the top of my list. So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that during this pandemic, you have really come through for us as all those other go-to kid places faded away. (Though I think you know that the Children’s Museum and the Zoo and movie theaters will always have a place in my heart and I miss them dearly!) I’m sure I’m not the only one that has told you how great you are, but boy do I mean it now more than ever.
Anyway, as I was saying, my dear Public Library, I was worried this spring when even your book drops were closed. I was the designated librarian parent for my kids’ classrooms. I felt lost. My children were clamoring for something new. I still had my e-books checked out, but that alone was about as fulfilling as my kids sending air hugs to their grandparents over zoom. Where were the lift the flap books? Or the textured board books for my infant? Those just can’t be replicated on a screen! I realized that while I THOUGHT I appreciated you before, I really did not realize what a hole you would leave in our family life when you were gone.
And then, innovative, Dear Public Library, you started offering curbside pick up. Be still my heart. Not only did we have new books to rotate through, you made my kids’ summer by continuing to offer the summer reading program- something that was safely not cancelled was exactly what they needed. You really went above and beyond after our time apart. If I came to you to pick up my books on a weekday, you offered my kids meals. Sometimes when I arrived you would have an extra surprise to offer such as craft packets for the kids, or pre-assembled book bundles sorted by age and reading level.
My dear Public Library, I hope that one day we will be able to spend more time together again. I dream about bringing my youngest to your early literacy storytime programs. I love that I can request items online right now, but I can’t wait to wander the shelves and see what jumps out to me and my kiddos again or see them meet and play with new kids while I keep browsing what’s new. I am so excited to have a longer conversation with your wonderful librarians and to participate in your special holiday events. I didn’t know how good I had it with you before all this, and I promise I will never take you for granted again.
Amanda- aka a Bookworm Mom for Life