“In a ritual repeated nearly every weekend for the past decade here in Colombia�s war-weary Caribbean hinterland, Luis Soriano gathered his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, in front of his home on a recent Saturday afternoon.
Sweating already under the unforgiving sun, he strapped pouches with the word “Biblioburro” painted in blue letters to the donkeys� backs and loaded them with an eclectic cargo of books destined for people living in the small villages beyond.
A whimsical riff on the bookmobile, Mr. Soriano�s Biblioburro is a small institution: one man and two donkeys. He created it out of the simple belief that the act of taking books to people who do not have them can somehow improve this impoverished region, and perhaps Colombia.”
I remember my first library. I think I was four. Memories are hazy, but we had to go down some stairs into this cave-like room filled with shelves from top to bottom, and a little table and soft chairs in the center that were dark, and very Seventies (when I think of it now) inspired. Good times. That was around Swathmore, PA, and oddly enough, even though it’s been about twenty-five years, that toy in the picture on the front page of their website looks very familiar.
Out in Washington State, I went to several libraries, but the one in Arlington was much larger, and partially underground. A lot of books for kids, but the YA section had better stuff. And man, for the longest time I felt like such a rebel sneaking into that area to check out the titles. Ha! I was so wild. Some kids have alcohol and cigarettes. I had books.
Oh, and my high school library was beautiful. A magnificent building that was packed to the gills with lovely, wonderful stories.
Anyway, tell me about your libraries, folks. Current, past, or your ideal libraries. If you were to build your own library, what would you have inside it (particular books, or furniture, or technology) to make it your place of comfort?