Friday, April 18, 2008

Why I Can't Live Without Libraries

I'm hooked and I know it. I love libraries. Time spent in a good library thrills me to no end. Okay, you are thinking, what's the big deal? Well, for all these years, and I mean way back to the days when I was a little girl growing up in Detroit, I have found solace in libraries. The neat rows of books, the glide of book carts, the aroma of discovery are all deeply reassuring to me. I was only 10 years old when my father died suddenly. I took sanctuary in my local library where I was consoled by the order and reliability of the place. Later on in high school, I spent my free time in libraries preparing for debates and researching papers. I came to know specific librarians who always led me to the good stuff. I still use libraries today; despite Google's flirtations.

But I never expected libraries to love me back. Why would they? They are institutions for God's sake. But this week, WorldCat, an online catalog of over 49 million records, shows libraries have been acquiring my book at a steady clip. Better yet, the Chicago Public Library system has honored me as the 2008 Charlotte Kim Scholar in Residence. Oh, my. I am so deeply gratified. After all, there's nothing quite like the feeling of requited love.


Mother Earth said...

Oh my gosh Pat this is just awesome. Way to go!

George said...

Actually, we just crossed the 100 million record threshold a couple of weeks ago, with over 1.3 billion holdings records as well. Pretty impressive for a little database that started on the campus of The Ohio State University in 1971.

See you in Chicago, Pat!

Patricia Martin said...

I happily stand corrected! I think I pulled the number of records in OCLC's WorldCat database from Wikipedia...utterly lazy of me.

Thanks for setting things straight and congrats to the little database that could, and did, and will!
Pat said...

What a timely message, Pat. It is National Library Week. For all the push and move toward making Public Libraries more like Starbucks and big box bookstores, there is something uniquely deep and resonant about libraries that can't be replicated--I I dearly hope continues to be appreciated (dare I say "loved") by the masses.

Patricia Martin said...

That's right, it is National Library Week! The weeks fly by and I would have missed it. I am so glad you commented and let me know.