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Embracing reading technology

The Mommy Chronicles

April 15, 2012
Anne Blankenship , The Daily Freeman Journal

I've always been old school when it comes to reading. I like the way a book feels in my hands - the heft of its weight, the creased binding of the spine and the crispness of the ecru pages.

To me, there's nothing better to destress from a long day and no better way to spend a few indulgent hours than with a good book. I can't imagine what life would be like without books to educate and inform, to dream and imagine, cry and fall in love.

As a child, I spent hours at the library in my hometown. Back then, it was a small room adjacent to the police department, just down the hall from the city jail. But inside the library doors, it was cozy and bright with colorful bulletin boards and a neat little area for children to gather. In those days, my great-aunt, Esther, was the librarian. She was an amazing, well-educated woman who was a world traveler. She always had time to point out a good book to a youngster.

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My friends and I spent many Saturday afternoons sitting cross-legged on a little rug at the back of the children's section. We'd read and share notes on the books we enjoyed. Nancy Drew books, "Little Women"?and "Treasure Island"?were a few of the adventures we enjoyed.

That little library moved from small room next door to the jail, to a historic old building downtown. The community turned out to help make that move a reality - both with donations and volunteers.

When I first moved to Webster City, Kendall Young Library was one of the first places I?sought out. What a comfortable and welcoming building. I had such fun combing through the stacks of books and reading all of the wonderful publications they receive.

This community owes a debt of gratitude to Kendall Young, the early benefactor who paved the way for the first public library here. He may not have shared his vision with many people before his death, but he made clear his devotion to this community when his Last Will and Testament was read.

With the People's Project, funds were raised to expand and renovate the Kendall Young Library. More roomy with comfortable nooks and reading spots, this library is truly a treasure for our community. The library responds to the needs and interests of the community by offering compelling programs for the youngest of children to adults. I've been to many of the programs - both as part of my job and also as an interested audience member.

Daniel loves the library and the science club for kids. He's a little bit bummed out that as a fifth grader, this is his last year for that. But on the other hand, he's very keen on the idea of soon being among the young adults who get to check out books upstairs. He also enjoys checking using the computers.

Speaking of computers, did you know you can even check out e-books at Kendall Young Library. Well, actually, it's online through the website and a link called NEIBORS. For people who may be too busy to make regular stops at the library, this provides a great way to keep up with the latest best sellers and classics of literature while on the go.

Daniel got an e-reader for his birthday this year and has been thoroughly enjoying scanning through the available titles. I've also embraced this new technology. I found that I have an app on my phone that will let me read e-books. It doesn't take the place of holding that book in your hands, but it sure is convenient.

This week marks National Library Week and celebrations are going on all over the nation, including here in Webster City. The theme for the event is "You belong@your library."?And isn't that the truth. There's few places that offer as many programs and as many materials as our local library. If you haven't discovered it yet, what better time that National Library Week??



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