The Curious Expeditions blog has a fabulous photo collection of the world's most beautiful libraries. I can only claim to have visited two of the featured libraries.
Some insomniacs count sheep. I occasionally count libraries in the middle of the night when I'm feeling entirely too hot, too cold, too old, and too broke. It's better than enumerating all the parts I've replaced on the Buick.
Perhaps it is a bad idea to put the library list into writing, as I might have to find something new to consider at 2:48 a.m. CDT.
The South Branch of the Lincoln City Libraries is the very first library I can remember. Then came a bookmobile at Lefler Junior High, and a combined city library and school library inside Lefler. I would help my mom choose picture books for my little brother who was particularly fond of a story about the pigs, Roly and Poly.
The main library for Lincoln at 14th and N Streets opened when I was a young reader in the early Sixties. I was quite fond of saying, "Bennett Martin". My class took a field trip to the library, and each student got a library card. Then we rushed to the shelves to check out our first book. Obviously only because it began with "A", I took home a biography of Jane Addams of Hull House, a most depressing book from the Bobbs-Merrill Childhood of Famous Americans series.
I spent many pleasant hours in the Bethany branch in sixth grade doing make-up work after a long illness. I was trying to complete my "February Folder," an assignment to research a different topic for each day in February. Bethany was a quiet branch, and my mom was comfortable leaving me there to do my work for hours at a time. No cell phone. No tutor. A dime for the payphone in case of emergency.
Gere Branch is another nice Lincoln library. Lincoln City Libraries total: 6
The most important library in my life was the Carnegie Library in Pierce, Nebraska, where my grandma was the town librarian. Every visit to Pierce meant being Grandma's little assistant until 1966 when she broke her hip. Pierce total: 1 Subtotal: 7
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Library System 8, or 7 (depending how you count Special Collections) Subtotal: 15 or 14
Engineering which had previously housed the Undergraduate Library known as UGL(y).
Geology which had an appropriately subterranean feel.
Special Collections including the Mari Sandoz Collection
Omaha Public Libraries 4 Subtotal 18 or 19
Benson Baby Jeffy's first library
Swanson Preschool Jeffy's first storytime
W Dale Clark
Libraries on vacation 12 Subtotal 30 or 31
National Institute of Health Library in Bethesda, MD
Library of Congress One of Curious Expedition's favorites.
Folger Shakespeare Library Another Curious Expedition favorite.
Chicago Art Institute Library, not voluntarily, to research Giacometti
Red River, N.M. Public Library lets tourists borrow books
Port Isabel, TX
Memorial Library at U Wisconsin-Madison
U New Mexico Zimmerman Library
Bunting Visual Resources Library (slide library)
School libraries 7 Subtotal 42
Libraries for dreaming in the future, but I'm feeling pretty sleepy now.
© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder