Becoming a Double Library Friend

Once upon a time, we could only be friends with people. In this new age with the help of Facebook, we can be friends with organizations, products, celebrities – the list is unending.

Let me recommend an enjoyable friendship for you. October 21-27 is National Friends of Libraries Week. One of the nice things about library friendships is their lack of jealousy. I am friends with two – giving equal time as I recently volunteered at their respective books sales about two weeks apart.

The first is in my neighborhood, Oak Grove Public Library. My excitement knew no bounds when it was completed about two years after we moved to Hattiesburg. Eight minutes from my door to theirs! I signed up on their initial offer of friendship, and our relationship has grown ever since. They find books I’m looking for on the shelves or in other libraries, provide a wonderful Classics Book Club that I enjoy, let me make suggestions for book purchases, extend my book loan time to a month, and never bat an eye when I check out a stack that includes everything from picture books to War and Peace. To borrow from the Cheers theme, “It’s a place where everybody knows my name.”

My other friendship is with the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries. This is a much bigger library system with different advantages. With the only school of library science in Mississippi, its extensive collection of young adult and children’s books makes me a regular visitor. It offers four floors of books and information in Cook Library; the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection in McCain; a monthly de Grummond Book Group; and special events featuring writers, artists, and experts from various fields.

I’m not close enough to be friends, but I also “like” Marshall Public Library in Texas on their Facebook site. My daughter is the director, and you know the old cliché – “Any friend of Anna’s is . . . “

So - if you’re not friends with a library or two, you’re missing out. If I were you, I’d go find one.