Looking at a photo of the new Riverside library, I get all teary eyed.
I grew up going to the Ontario (California) city library, a library that writer Beverly Cleary once worked at. My mom would let me max out my library card. It never seemed to be enough.
Wandering through the kid and adult sections, I would lose myself in their spines. It was there I discovered all of my favorite writers. I read all of the Wizard of Oz books, Judy Blume, the Hobbit, even F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Leaving the library, I would feel joyful. Carrying home my armful of books, a huge smile on my face, I would throw them on my bed. Falling into worlds away. As a kid, I would read books all weekend. I would savor their pages. Caress them. Read the same books over and over.
My allowance sometimes went to paying for late fees for books I couldn't let go.
Libraries are everything. They are havens and children and adults need a refuge and gathering place.
Libraries are where I became a reader and a writer. Because, ultimately, books, and libraries that house them by extension, are where dreams are imagined and sometimes made.