Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Library: My Home Away from Home

If I was writing a speech about first year, Oscar-thank-you-style (because, well, it feels like making it through has been a pretty big accomplishment), there would be a section where I'd thank the Kingston Frontenac Public Library. It would be a long section, because KFPL was something of a rock for me in a year full of changes.

Before I even moved to here in September, I looked up how to get a library card as a non-local university student. Thankfully, it was free and easy. So after classes ended on the first day of school, I headed off the library.

When I walked into the building, immediately this sense of belonging descended on me. I've always felt at home in libraries, but this one was special - it was going to be my new home library. When I finally had my card in hand, I couldn't keep the grin off my face. 

The first book I ever checked out of KFPL was a old favourite, The Queen of Attolia. I walked back to residence unable to close it, flipping through to my favourite parts, laughing to myself at Eugenides' antics. I kept QoA with me for most of that first week, and it grounded me during a time where everything else was new and different.

I smuggled Mercedes Lackey's Home from the Sea into my first midterm so I could return it afterwards without detouring back to residence. That was the first time I walked to the library in the dark - but hardly the last. By now I know every step by heart.

But I didn't just walk to the library. Without a bike or access to a car this year, I got into the habit of literally running my errands, which more often than not included a trip to drop off or pick up books. (yes, even in the middle of winter with ice on the ground - I wouldn't let a little thing like that get between me and a good read!)

I had just acquired Dodger when I had my first ski race weekend, so naturally I brought it along. It's a Terry Pratchett book, which for me means semi-regular outbursts of laughter. I knew I'd been accepted on the team when I burst out laughing in the middle of a quiet room and everyone just shrugged knowingly.

Now I have an email saying my membership expires on May 1st. I want so badly to rush over there and renew it, but I don't have proof of address for my new apartment yet. KFPL will have to wait until June, when I'm back in town (and living entirely on my own for ten weeks!)

Until then, I'll enjoy being home, seeing my family, relaxing - and using the local library I practically grew up in.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for your kind words! KFPL staff.