There are a variety of reasons to love a library. For most people, it is connected to the service they get from the librarians. When I think back to my good library experiences, almost all of them are the result of the librarians who work at said library. Even when you don’t see the librarians doing the work, your enjoyment is a result of the work. For example, if you love the collection then you are enjoying the work of someone who develops that collection as part of their jobs.
Then there are libraries we love because they are beautiful. The libraries I grew up in, were not beautiful. The libraries in New England are a mixed bag. Some towns have tiny little libraries in restored buildings. Others are victims of bad timing between architecture styles. Then there are some modern ones built as a result of the previously mentioned victims.
The third reason to love a library: the story of the library. These last two reasons are why I love Pollard Memorial Library in Lowell (where I currently live). I can’t say I only have two of these reasons to love this library, but my view of the staff and services is seen through the lens of a librarian. I know far more about the inner workings of this library than I probably should. I love this library though and the main reasons are the building and it’s story. I love this library so much, I re-created a Wikipedia article about it. The building is beautiful- the same style as Boston’s Trinity Church.
The stories of this library are fascinating. Kerouac would skip school and hide in the library reading books. There was a fire that destroyed much of the inside. There are even a few controversial stories… ones I won’t share here because I know these people. Their librarians are among my favorite people in the city and some of my favorite collaborators. Their collection rounds out the books (print, audio, and ebook) that I consume all year.
I don’t know how my life would be different here in Lowell if I did not have this library and it’s librarians. It doesn’t really matter because I do have them. The positivity that has come from my involvement with Pollard Memorial Library is why it is on the list of favorite libraries.