Libraries: The Bedrock of Literacy

The path of a fluent reader hopefully begins in the library. After grasping the basics of the alphabet and the nuances of phonetics, the mastery of simple site words usually follows. From Pre-K to kindergarten, and on through elementary, middle, high school, and college, the library has been the greatest resource for anyone with a love of reading.

Reading came pretty naturally to me as a kid. Being quiet and incredibly shy, books provided great comfort and companionship. To this day, our bond of friendship remains stronger than ever. With my trusty library card, I'd proudly select the book(s) of my choice, go to the librarian at the counter, and check it out. He or she would simply stamp the return date on it and send me on my way. I considered the book mine until that return date.

I never allowed the ending of the school year to separate me from the joy of reading. I'd go through the required reading list the teachers gave me and continued to check out even more books afterwards.

I'd simply turn one in and check out another. Back in my younger days in the library, computer catalogues were nonexistent. If you wanted a particular book, you'd have to look it up using the Dewey Decimal Classification System. Back then, books were shelved by genre, but they were also assigned into ten main classes by using the number of a decimal system catalogued on index cards. Of course, the librarian was always there ready and willing to assist readers with finding their books, but even back then, as far as I can remember, I always relished the challenge of looking up and locating my own book.

During most of my free time during the summers, I'd find the books I wanted to check out, then stay there and browse through the newspapers and magazines I couldn't afford. But above all, I thoroughly enjoyed being surrounded by so many books in a quiet and peaceful setting. Libraries have decorum that is strictly adhered to to this day. Not only has automation made libraries even easier to navigate, most of them even provide computers for readers to use and read online.

Great books will not only inspire you to read even more, but they'll pique your imagination and transport you to worlds you've only dreamed about. My love of books and reading has inspired me to write my own stories. To date, I've published three books with many more to come. Had it not been for the love of reading and the love of books, I wouldn't be where I am today. Libraries are invaluable necessities. They're the fertile soil that will eventually grow and harvest the bountiful seeds of literacy!

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