First love...

by - Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ascending on tiptoes the wide stairs to the top floor, it was a far climb to the children's section for a six year old. I can still remember the warmth from the large windows... It was the only floor in the Hoboken Public Library with such wide open space, easily accommodating many of us for story-time. We sat on the floor bathed in the sunlight from those windows, listening as the librarian transported us to another place through the animated words rising from the pages in her hands. 
I fell in love...
The library has always been one of my first loves... A sanctuary where I could accompany Nancy Drew on her latest case, drink in the English countryside with Jane Austen, and parlay with Ann Rice's Mayfair witches. It is the only place that never ages, becoming new as the shelves restock with current stories of fascinating people, a myriad of places to go, and things to learn.
Love is definitely in the air... February is Library Lovers' Month! We are so fortunate to have The Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS), a consortium of seventy-four public libraries in northern New Jersey where it's easy and free to join and borrow material.  Most BCCLS libraries offer online registration.  With proper identification, your home library will provide you with a free library card. If your town is not a BCCLS member or does not have a library, check with any BCCLS library for local pay card policies. Robert, Brenna and myself are easily recognized at the Rive Vale Public Library since we visit so often, sometimes several times in one week. Books, audio CDs, magazines, movie and television show DVDs are readily available to peruse. The best part about BCCLS is if your hometown library doesn't have a particular item you are looking for, you can request it from any library in the organization and it will be delivered to your local library at no cost to you! Once you obtain a library card, you can create an online account to manage all the books, record albums and movies you want to request, borrow and renew from your computer or mobile device. It is so simple! Just make sure you heed the renewal time-frame and overdue fees for the libraries you are borrowing from. As with anything worth having, respect and care are required for every one's benefit.
Our River Vale Public Library
There is so much more your neighborhood library offers too. Many host displays and events to promote local artists and residents. River Vale has a program for young children called First Friends, a read-aloud story-time scheduled in the children's section encouraging little ones to mingle and meet, not to mention new parents as well! Free Internet is also available, which I must say, has been a real life saver for me when having connection problems at home and I need to get work done. Loaning  available space to local organizations for meetings, arts & crafts programs, and business workshops, there is always something special going on at the library. It is worth the time to check out everything they have to offer each month. Expand your horizons too... Explore other libraries in your area to find a favorite and stimulate your personal circle of knowledge.
Recognizing the value of libraries and finding out what you can do to keep your local library safe is definitely worthwhile. With all the free services it provides the community, supporting the hard work of this organization is a way to show your love of community and the arts.
A first love always occupies a special place. - Lee Konitz

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