A couple of defining moments early in life are certainly accountable for my love of the library.
The first moment was in grade 3, while living in Marrickville and going to ‘The Warren’ branch of the Marrickville Library after school. As my parents were at work, my brother and I had no-one at home to supervise us and going to the library was my favoured option.
At the time, the library had no computers and catalogues were contained on index cards that you flicked through with your fingers. I loved the feel of flicking through these cards, reading the titles and numbers. I loved the smell, the colours of different shades of aged wood and the sound of the library. Who would have believed that silence has so much sound and resonance?
It wasn’t long that the Librarian at ‘The Warren’ branch of Marrickville Library allowed me to volunteer and be a quasi librarian. I was able to help people find information when they sought help (they mostly were other kids!) and I worked at the desk and stamped their borrowing cards with the return date after filling in the details. Wow, The library, I absolutely loved it and it was my refuge at a time when my parents were working and I had no place to go.
I still recall the grand staircase to the library and how I loved traipsing the steps to the top. I can vividly recall the audio-visual room, as it was known back then, on the right as you reached the top of the grand staircase. I needed to walk past this area before reaching the library that branched out to cover the rest of the building beyond the corridor.
I was fortunate enough to be a library monitor at school during grade 5 and 6 and I happily gave up my lunchtimes to be a part of this wonderful environment. Similar to my volunteering at ‘The Warren’ the importance of working in the library was never lost in my imagination.