Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Smell of Books

Erie has a new Library! Finally, after 17 years of supposedly being served by a Bookmobile that actually showed up a total of five times, our new Community Center and new Library opened last weekend. It's lovely. Only about half-full right now, but I'm so excited!

So I head off last night to get a library card and wander around the new library...

Wait, a bit of background here. For anyone who knows me, the fact is that I am a well known Liberator of Library Books. I don't mean to be, I mean I try to return things promptly, but when it comes to books I tend to forget that just because the book is in my house, doesn't mean it belongs to me. Many overdue notices and letters for lost books show up at the Phouka household. I'm really good for a while, then I lapse. I do my penance (pay fines) and return, only to lapse again. It's been quite awhile since I had a library to go to, though.

But back to my saga. I approach the shiny new circulation desk and produce my driver's license and a printed check (for a second form of identification) to the nice librarian and she stands there for a moment staring at the names.

"Phouka....Phouka....I know that name!"

The klaxons go off in my head, and a sharp pang of terror weakens my knees. OMIGOD! They KNOW! The aren't going to give me a library card! They KNOW I'm a book thief! AAARGH!

"You donated a lot to the Children's Library."

My relief was so great I nearly swooned.

Moments later, shiny new library card in hand, I skipped off into the new library and wandered among the stacks and the new book smell.

With the best intentions to be a good library patron, of course. Really!

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