I don’t think I am unusual for a Librarian in the sense that I have every Library card I ever was issued. Shocking, I know, but the more I think about it, it really isn’t.
My first memories of the Library are in Sacramento, California where I lived til I was 9. We went to a branch library and I remember reading Curious George and knowing exactly where he was. I recall my sister also having a fondness for the Francis stories. Later, towards the time we moved I was reading the Wizard of Oz. I realized there was more than one (a series even!) and determined to read all of them. We moved and at the next Library (in Dearborn, Michigan) I resumed the quest and read as many as I could get my hands on. Looking back I wish the Librarians would have introduced me to Interlibrary Loan because there were some they did not have.
Most of my Library cards have been issued as an adult. They chronicle my adventures moving around the country as an adult. A card from Alabama, two from Oregon and of course the Library card from the Library I first worked at during high school and college (which I still have the barcode number memorized).
Recently, I wondered what had happened to my first library card. In my head I could see perfectly the design and its vertical orientation (versus the traditional horizontal). It had been years since I remembered seeing it and thought it was lost.
Around Thanksgiving I was helping my Dad clean the basement in preparation for Christmas quests. As we moved boxes, halfheartedly going through them because we were simply moving them not sorting my eye caught something in the bottom of one of the boxes: my first library card. It was exactly how I remembered it. I picked it up and nearly squealed like a 12 year old girl meeting the Jonas Brothers.
And so blog readers, I give you “The First Library Card”:
You can see the back, which was what I saw in my mind. Notice that even in the 80′s it was a “Public Library and Information Service”, way ahead of its time I think. On the front you can see where I wrote my name in the box (I was probably only 5 or 6) and above where the Librarian (at least it doesn’t look to be my parents writing) wrote my name so it could be legible.
I think the fact that I kept this card shows how long I have loved Libraries and what they represent. What about you? What are your earliest memories of a library? Do you still have your first library card?