I found this meme on Memegirls several weeks ago, but I hadn't quite found time to do it yet. Until now.
1. How old were you when you got your first library card?
I was in my late teens--16 or 17--when I got my first library card. Let me explain. As a kid, I just checked stuff out on one of my parent's cards--mostly my mom's. And at the school library, cards weren't required. So there really wasn't a need until then.
2. What's the first book you can remember reading from a library?
Who knows. It could have been anything. One I remember. And this is awful--just awful--was one I called the "hoot-to-hoo" book. I think the real name might have been Indian Summer. It has long been banned for being politically incorrect...and rightly so. It was a book about a pioneer family. I remember there being one or two kids in the family. And the first thing that happened was one of their cows is missing. So they go into the woods to try to find it. And I don't really remember quite what happened. But by the end, the Indians were attacking the whites. Or vice versa. It's been probably twenty-three or twenty-four years since I last read it. I don't know why I liked this book. It was overall kind've creepy with black and white illustrations. And it had owls in it. Or Indians pretending to be owls. Or something like that. Anyway, my memory is fuzzy. I just remember mom telling me how she was so relieved when it was time to turn the book back into the library. Only she didn't count on me finding another copy--with a different color cover--to check out that same day. And the thing is, I couldn't read. I don't know how I knew or if I knew. But I did check out other books--good books--I'm sure. I knew how to spot a Seuss even though I couldn't read.
3. Did you ever participate in a summer reading program or other kids' event at a library growing up?
Yes. I don't know if it was a "summer" program or not. But I remember there being a program at the library where if you read so many books (I forgot quite how many but there was a chart to fill out) then you got a certificate for a McDonald's hamburger--but not a cheeseburger. I remember that quite well. I've always liked my cheese. :) Anyway, needless to say my sister and I ate quite a lot of hamburgers throughout this program.
4. Do you remember when card catalogues weren't computerized?
Definitely. I didn't experience an online catalogue until college (1996). I don't remember using the card catalogue at my local library growing up, but I definitely had hands-on experience using it at my school library. I was a library aide for my four high school years. And one of my jobs was filing new cards in the catalogue. Let's just say that I definitely learned to know my abc's.
5. When was the last time you went to the library? Tuesday, June 19th. I typically go to the library once a week. But this wasn't always the case. It's only been since starting Becky's Book Reviews, that I've been this loyal a patron. :)
6. How many books do you usually check out of the library at one time? I've checked out as few as one or two. Or as many as thirty. Once in college, when I was taking a course--an independent study, I checked out about a hundred books within a two or three week period. The assignment: to make an annotated bibliography of French women writers. I didn't have to read all those books. Just browse them enough to write two or three sentences about them. But still. I think my college library had to create a limit of how many books per student after that.
7. Name one great author you've discovered at your library. Too many to count. I check out a lot of books. A lot. And many of them are by new-to-me authors at one point or another.
8. What was the librarian at your elementary school like? Our school didn't have a library until I was in fifth grade. And I seem to remember there was a lot of turnover with librarians. But the librarian that came when I was in eighth grade stuck around. She was the one I would work with for four years. She was the one that would encourage and support me. She had a lot of common sense. She knew that the popular kids. The ones that all the administration and teachers were so hung up on, so in-love with, weren't the ones that really mattered. She actually valued unathletic, smart kids, the artistic, creative kids.
9. How many times a year do you go to the library? Since 2006, once a week typically, probably 48 or 50 times total. Before that, maybe a dozen or so times a year. Some years only once or twice.
10. If you could change on thing about your library, what would it be and why? I would change a lot of things. One policy that I strongly, strongly disagree with is that they charge non-city residents that live within the county $50 per year for a card. Which is just ridiculous. There are no other libraries to service those areas. And for many--they are only outside the limits of free service--by a mile or two. If you live within ten minutes of the library, then you should be able to check books out of it. And it is the people who cannot afford to buy books, that are in the poorer brackets of society, that need the library the most. All this policy is doing is making sure that segments of the population go unserved. Anyway, I think it quite heartless.