From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the great library in antiquity at Alexandria to the medieval Book of Kells that monks preserved; from the Revolutionary War pamphleteers to the e-books of our day, libraries have played a part in our lives and the lives of people. who raise money to build them, catalog their contents, and make them available for all to use.
In 1957 the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council came up with the idea of a National Library Week. Even though it was first celebrated in 1958, others had suggested earlier that places that housed books and the people, who loved them, might want to celebrate each year the fact that libraries exist and to recognize the impact that they have had on our culture and our lives.
So in 2014, as we have done for some 50 odd years, we once again are celebrating the impact that libraries have had on us all. Libraries are sanctuaries of thoughtful reflection and learning. Libraries are places where minds are molded and transformed by the wondrous worlds found in books.
So it has been in my own life. When I was a child, I spent my summers in the children’s library of the old and historic Carnegie Library in Corona. Each year the Library had a reading contest. The child who read the most books that summer was celebrated by a gold star and a mat framed plaque on the wall. Now that was something to aspire to! I did eventually win that contest and my love affair with books has been a lifelong pursuit, eventually leading me work in one of these marvelous places.
Riverside County Law Library is preparing to celebrate National Library Week, like so many others in the United States. We will have prizes, puzzles, and special speakers unique to our library. Come celebrate libraries and Library Week with us. Read the law and the many other books that we have in our collection. Expand your mind and your horizons remembering, as I learned so long ago, lives really are changed at libraries – and yours can be too!