Outlined

Libraries aren’t just storage spaces for books. I was nine years old and in 4th Grade when my refuge at school was the library. It’s two classrooms with bookshelves on all sides. It was right next to the principal’s office. I guess they put them on this side of the school building because most kids don’t want to go purposely there. It was quiet and secure and I love books.

My first stop in the library are the travel books. Well I like to read adventure stories and history as well as geography. I like that that they put these books at eye level and they put the math books on the high shelves. I would read for hours and then try to find the meaning of the words later in the dictionary and the encyclopedia. This was before the internet.

This library has only one door. It’s the entrance and exit in one. I go around the room, finding the books I want to read. The reference books are in the middle of the room. I will sit on the floor for hours after classes. Feed the fishes in the aquarium or volunteer to return the books in their proper places. I like the colored pictures of the Amazon rain forest and the Grand Canyon. It has a great collection of National Geographic magazines too.

On the left hangs a mural of Jose Rizal, our national hero, with his eyes looking directly at me. He has a pen in one hand and he is turning a page of a book he’s reading. I will learn later that he wrote those books himself. It must be tremendously rewarding to have written books and people read them years afterwards.

Libraries are a lot like a carousel. You start the ride and it’s fun. Fun feeds your imagination which opens you up to possibilities. I ride my imagination around this room, feeding the fishes and being watched by a big man with strange eyes. I’m quite sure I’ll be all right even if I over reach for that math book. At the end of the day, there’s just one door to exit.

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