66 Comments

  1. I never had any problems walking into a children’s section to get a book.

    If I tried to join Miss Mary’s Milk-and-Cookies reading hour, on the other hand, there might have been issues.

  2. Anyone have ‘book-mobiles’? It was a bus filled with books organised by a nearby town’s library that came around to our ‘rural’ area as there was no library close to us. It would come around every week or so and functioned like a regular library. You could check books out or order them, and drop them off or pick them up when the bus came back on its scheduled visits.

  3. More than 50 years later, I still remember that the bookmobile came to out Neighborhood Mondays at 4. They had a complete set of Danny Dunn (juvenile science fiction) books, and I thought then (and still do) that this was because we weren’t a big enough town to warrant Tom Swift books.

  4. @ Bill – Don‘t knock “Danny Dunn”. I read every single book that our elementary school library had, even after I began to be able to recognize the gigantic plot holes in the pseudo-science. They were still enjoyable, even if they were sometimes a bit silly.

  5. @ Bookmobiles – We have a couple of stationary “book trading stations” in the area. It’s normally a decommissioned telephone booth, into which shelves have been installed. There’s no paperwork, just take (or leave) any book you like. Of course, that usually means that most of the books are ancient garbage that really belongs in an incinerator(*), but I have occasionally discovered a few gems.
    P.S. (*) – One such booth is located right in front of the local trash dump recycling center, which both facilitates donations as well as periodic ultimate disposal when the booth gets too full.

  6. “I lived in the suburbs. I walked.”

    I lived in the suburbs, too. About halfway between two of them, actually, making the walking trip about 5 or 6 miles, either way.
    When my daughter was little, we had a little branch in the strip mall just the other side of the freeway from my house. Then they built a brand-new one… next to the airport, about 5 or 6 miles away.
    Having a library within walking distance is nice, but nowhere NEAR a universal experience.

    For me, it was the used bookstore that was the center of literacy, and not the library.. But not everybody has a Powell’s.

  7. Everything that the librarian in the comic does makes sense to me, but not when it’s all put together. Librarians are big on encouraging kids to read, and generally aren’t big on the “they’re too young to be interested in…”. On the other hand, they’re very big on parents monitoring what their kids are reading/watching, because it’s the parents’ job to do that, not the librarians’. (This is made very clear every time there is an uproar over a kid borrowing an age-restricted movie from the library.)

    As for helicopter parenting – my library has an official policy that children under 9 must be supervised. A friend of mine was chided when her son got away from her upstairs in the adult department (I don’t think that the librarian realised that he wasn’t intentionally left unsupervised). On the other hand, when my two-year-old decided to dash upstairs to read, the librarian who found him didn’t say anything to me about it (this may be because she’d seen me freaking out earlier).

    At my library you can’t get your own card if you’re under 13 – you have to have a parent or guardian sign your card. (Annoyingly it won’t show my kids’ books when I log into my account, despite the fact that I’m responsible for all of them, and they know it.)

    And a lot of the parents I know base what their kids are allowed to do on whether or not we’re worried that someone would report it, not on if our kid can handle it.

  8. The ‘libraries of my childhood’ were 1) The Bookmobile, with Mrs. Brown the Librarian, who saved all the Freddy the Pig books for me [the bookmobile came to the school across the street from my house every week in the summer]; 2) The Children’s Library, located in a beautiful former church, about a half-mile from the ‘grownups’ library’.

    When the former church/library was purchased and made into a high-end restaurant (didn’t last long; now it’s back to being a church again), and both libraries were combined into a brand new facility, I always resented (and still do) the kids running wild in the building. Well, ‘wild’ to me would probably not be such to others, but I still think – in libraries – children should be not seen, not heard. Guess I was spoilt by my youth in ‘my own’ library.

  9. Mitch4 – Might be that the mom told the girl that the library does not allow her to get a card as mom thought that and tired of hearing “I want a library card” encouraged/allowed the girl to ask so that she would be told she could not get a card and then she would stop bothering her mom.

    Did anyone else read “Rosa Too Little” as a child?

  10. Phil Smith III – Robert had a power of attorney for his mom (only) at her bank. He was told that he could make withdrawals in person but could not sign checks as they required paperwork to be signed in front of a platform person every time a withdrawal was made.

  11. Phil Smith III – Husband and I can’t even get POAs for each other at Medicare without going into a Social Security office and sitting there, more likely most of a day. We recently had to change our bank account they that they use and we don’t like to do financial things online. I called – they called back an hour later. He could not even say “okay for my wife to give you the info – I had to help him change his while he spoke to them. (I did change my mine also.)

  12. My first library was in Brooklyn. I could not walk to it alone – one had to cross avenues and I was only allowed to cross streets (yes, in Brooklyn there is a difference – streets were narrower, avenues ran at 90 degrees (more or less) to streets and were through streets with more and (intended to have) faster traffic. When mom learned to drive we even drove there at least once. ( I think I saw the replacement library for that library on TV a few weeks ago).

    One could get a library card when one could write their name (as in the book I mentioned a few posts back). I must have been 4 when I got mine as I had it the summer before I went to kindergarten and was 4 when I started same. I then got a library card out here when we moved out to Long Island. (I may have also had one in Rockaway Beach- Arverne – it seems to me that I took books out from it on my own but not sure if that was when I was 4 before we moved out here or when I was 12 and we went back for a summer after not going there between 4 & 12.) And then have one here.

    The card out here was for the children’s room only – a problem as I was reading adult books while still in elementary school. I remember when I had an adult card in junior high having a problem with some book I wanted to take out in the adult section and needing mom’s permission.

    There was a children’s reading program every summer. One had to read a certain number of books – I think 12, but it may have been 8 – which was one a week. I would go in the first week and take out a stack of books and read them and come back the next week, take out more and by the end of the second week the latest I would have had read the number of books of needed to finish and the library ladies always did not believe me. Then if one was suppose to read a number of fiction books and a number of non-fiction books I would end up arguing with them that the non- fiction books I had read were better than fiction books as provided true information not a story. – I usually won.

    Tom Swift, Rick Brand (the wailing octopus), along with Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins, Honey Bunch – with and without Norman, The Dana Girls, Donna someone, The Five Little Peppers, and lots of other books – all mine, all lost in my mom’s basement in Hurricane Sandy – sigh.

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