My boyfriend calls me “Captain Library.” My friends kindly tolerate my proselytizing about having stuff sent to my nearest branch via the Internet. I’m an official and unofficial Friend of the Library. I’m even the librarian at the Women’s Prison Book Project.
I get a little breathless when I talk about the library. It’s big love.
My first library was the old Duluth Public Library. I visited my second home of the children’s library a lot, too. I remember they had a stuffed Canada goose. I did go up to the second floor where the grown-up books were a couple times, but that was really only to check out the opaque glass floor that the light came up through. How cool is that.
I don’t just love the seemingly endless number of books; I love the buildings themselves. I love the classic Carnegie library style of the Franklin branch, I love the open lightness of the new Central. I think someone should book the Linden Hills branch for a wedding, it’s so pretty.
I love books on tape—I’ve probably listened to every British mystery they have. I love movies I didn’t even know existed—a documentary about socialist realism musicals? Discovered it at the library. I love checking out CDs of bands I want to hear but am not sure I’ll like. I love checking out a big stack of decorating books so I don’t spend money on decorating books, but on decorating stuff.
When I think about having kids, getting my child his first library card is one of things I think about. A lot.
I love the people who hang out at the library—the kids walking around with giant stacks of picture books, the guys playing chess, the older folks reading newspapers. I love them! And librarians—need I say? If you tell me you’re a librarian, I will probably like you even more. It’s not fair, but it’s true. It’s just because I love the library.
_Sarah Gioia is a director and dramaturg. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner in crime, Matt Dawson._