One of my kids’ favorite places to go is the downtown library in Indianapolis. (I find it miraculous that I am slowly becoming comfortable driving in the city center’s cramped, narrow maze of one-way streets. After only six long years. Go me.)
I love the older section of the library best, with its stone walls and lovely architecture, but the rugrats love the modern addition that includes a section just for them.
I have to admit, it is pretty nifty.
When we get to the library my son seeks out the first available librarian in the children’s section to ask for help on finding a certain call number and then spends the next five minutes inundating them with facts about Michael Phelps or World War II or some other topic he’s obsessed with.
These employees start to look a little wide-eyed after a while, but I figure they’re getting paid to deal with “the public” and I could surely use the rest. Most days I feel that I am only one “hey mom, here’s an interesting fact…” away from a nervous breakdown.
Trinity, on the other hand, hides herself away from any adult who looks like they might possibly talk with her. Or casually glance at her. She’s my somewhat shy one.
Another thing I love about the downtown library are the individual learning pods that you can sequester yourself in. There is no legitimate reason why you shouldn’t feel as if you are on the Battlestar Galactica while you study. No reason at all.
The best part of all are the endless books. There’s so many more than in our little library branch. Walls and walls of lovely books in a building several stories high.
I feel like there are so many books that my kids get smarter just walking next to them, like intellectual osmosis.
Once when we were leaving the library, we overheard a harried mother tell her reluctant offspring to hurry up and pick out a movie. When the child asked to get some books, the mom replied impatiently, “We don’t have time for books today. Let’s just get the movies.”
My older children heard that and gasped, like they had just witnessed child-abuse. My son sidled over to me and whispered vigilante-like, “Should we do something about this?” Trinity, wide-eyed and breathless, held my hand and said, “Thank you for always letting us get books, Mom.”
Then the five year old tipped her head to one side and yelled excitedly, in a tone that suggested I’d been holding out on her for years, “What! They’ve got movies in this place?!?”
Yeah. You can learn a lot in the library.