The Logan Public Library stood on the corner of 100 North and 100 East in Logan. It was a rather small brick building with a big front door and stairs that went up and stairs that went down, but to my young mind, it held the treasures of the universe.
In the basement was the genealogical library (before it moved to the Tabernacle), but that was pretty much beyond my little brain. At the top of the stairs was the huge circulation desk, presided over by kindly Virginia Hansen. I don't remember ever actually having a library card, but I had check-out privileges. The cards in the back of the books were carefully taken out and filed under my name, and a new card put in that told when the book was due. I thought that stamping the due date on the cards with the mechanical stamp would be a lot of fun.In the back of the library were the adult stacks; we didn't bother with them much. In fact, they seemed kind of dull: dimly lit, with row after row of metal racks holding books from floor to ceiling. Only later would we venture back there.
But the big room on the right, a room with high ceilings and books lining the walls all the way around - that was ours.
I drove by the old library the other day. There is now a new, modern building down on Main Street (I haven't been there), and this one now houses some lucky computer company. I thought back to those happy Saturday mornings when we used to come here, and I knew that it was here that my lifelong passion for books began. But I also realized that I learned a whole lot more here. A lot of what I need to know, in fact, I learned at the library.
From a book called "Highland Rebel" by Sally Watson, I learned that the past is an intriguing place. From one called "They Loved To Laugh" by somebody Worth, I learned that life doesn't always turn out the way you think it should. From "Beautiful Joe" I learned that sad animal stories are the saddest ones of all.
From "Heidi" and "Hans Brinker" I learned that beauty grows worldwide, and just waits for you to go adventuring. From "The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell," I learned that most good things take time. From "The Story of Helen Keller," I learned that the human spirit is so very strong.
From "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Flies To the Moon" I learned that imagination provides a great ride, and from "Mystery in Old Quebec" I learned that what you don't know is usually more compelling that what you do.
From Gene Stratton Porter's "Girl of the Limberlost" I learned that wild places can soothe the soul, and from "Island of the Blue Dolphins," I learned that wild things are precious.
From the "Anne of Green Gables" series I learned that kindred spirits - both real and fictional - are to be treasured.
Mostly, I learned to cherish books and find joy in reading. I hope the kids going to the new Logan Library are doing the same.