The library has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up in Ohio in the 1950s, books were hard to come by. The leading bookstore in my town was called “The Chocolate Shop.” It primarily sold Hallmark cards and, of course, chocolate. It carried very few books. However, if you went through the back door, you got to a parking lot, on the other side of which was the library. That is where the books were and where I was. (After getting some chocolate.) I have to confess that at first my relationship to the librarians was contentious. As a seven-year old, I did not see the reason why they restricted me to just twelve books. I read lots more than that in two weeks, and wish I still could. My parents ran interference, though, and for many years my happiest hours were reading library books in a little pool of light in my dark bedroom. When other kids rang the doorbell in the summer to see if I could come out to play baseball, I would ask my mom to say I was sick or something. She refused, because she thought all that reading was bad for me. The truth however is just that I was bad for baseball.
-Pat Hanlon, Arlington Libraries Board Member