I would not be the person I am without libraries, a lot of libraries. Berkshire Publishing would not exist today, but for the Poplar Bridges Elementary School Library in Bloomington, Minnesota, and the Cupertino Public Library in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
When I ran away from home in Cupertino at age 14, I went to a commune in southern Oregon. What did I do the first week? Joined the public library in Myrtle Point – using a false name, naturally, since I was listed on a police missing persons list by then.
I have belonged to libraries in every place and every country I have lived, usually to more than one library at a time. When I first went to England in 1977, the Frimley Green Library is where I discovered the garden writer Beverly Nichols, for example. As a student at UC Santa Barbara, I used the campus library and the public library, and I found the food writer M. F. K. Fisher there, as I browsed the shelves. The library in Sydney, Australia, gave me a chance to read most of Trollope – no small matter – the summer after college. I joined many different London libraries as I hopped from flat to flat in my early years there, and Camberwell Public Library got me some of the books I needed to write my own first book, and provided the lovely wooden bookshelves on which I arranged my research collection.
And today, I am a happy patron of the beautiful Mason Library in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, as well as the New York Public Library and frequent visitor to the Simon’s Rock College Library, the staff of which has been a frequent help with questions small and projects large. We’re delighted to make the Good Library Manual available now as a free ebook.
How about you? We’d love to hear about the libraries that have changed your life!