I’ve been thinking about libraries lately. I’ve also been visiting the library a fair amount.
Libraries—at least in this neck of the woods—are air conditioned. This may not seem very important, but it is, so I’m bothering telling you so (extra points if you get the reference).
The weather here has turned ridiculously, sweat-inducingly hot. And if one has a car without air conditioning, libraries are a delightful place to go for a bit without feeling obligated to buy a cup of over-caffeinated coffee.
Actually, libraries are delightful no matter what the weather. One of the first jobs I ever had was working at the library (I’m guessing when we lived in Poughkeepsie) and I volunteered (I’m guessing) and reshelved books (I’m positive).
The word is library. Not lie-berry, lie-barry, or even librarary, although librarary will probably make me smile.
Five Fun Facts About Libraries
- 68 percent of Americans have a library card.
- Americans check out more than 2 billion items each year from their public libraries; the average user takes out more than seven books a year.
- There are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the US, yet Americans spend more than twice as much on candy as they do on public libraries
- The Library of Congress, founded in 1800, is the largest library in the world, with more than 155.3 million items on approximately 838 miles of bookshelves. People say you can go all sorts of place when you read, but you can travel the distance (as the shelf stacks) from the Library of Congress to Memphis, TN without leaving the building. The cultural trip might be more difficult.
- The smallest book in the Library of Congress is “Old King Cole.” It is 1/25” x 1/25”, or about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
More about libraries tomorrow my dear.
In the meantime, enjoy a good book.