Library Heaven

by Paulette Dickerson

Chair, Montgomery County Library Board

Presented at the Montgomery County Library Department "Staff Days", Fall 1998

In elementary school I had two favorite teachers, one right after the other, 2nd grade, 3rd grade: Mr. Ochs and Mr. Hatfield. Mr. Ochs taught us funny German songs. Mr. Hatfield dressed up like a farmer at Halloween.

But both of them helped make a lifetime library user out of me. Our school didn't have a library --- the bookmobile came every couple of weeks, but on the in-between weeks Mr. Ochs and Mr. Hatfield would each bring a big cardboard box full of books into our classroom. They each had a little bookcase in class that they would fill with these books, and refill with new books every two weeks. I remember asking Mr. Ochs, 2nd grade, where they all came from.

"The Library," he said.

Wow ... every two weeks a box full of books, none the same, no repeats for the whole school year, two years in a row. I knew right then that libraries were heaven.

When I was in junior high, our neighborhood library was between my school and my home. I could scarcely come home without dropping in, and I rarely dropped in without staying a while. And, need I say, I seldom left the library without an armload of books. The librarians knew me; they knew my interests; they put things aside for me; they told me about new arrivals; and they collected most of my allowances for fines. I was almost always late coming home and I lost books all over the house because I read books all over the house, night and day.

Instead of not letting me go to the beach or to visit friends when I got grounded, I wasn't allowed to go to the library --- I had to come straight home. For punishment, my Mom confiscated my library card. As a kid, I thought libraries were heaven. I still do.

Today I'd like to thank you all for doing a good job. Your work helps kids like I was get permanently excited by books ... helps young parents learn how to be better parents ... helps students learn research methods ... helps retirees find projects worth their time ... helps us amuse ourselves, entertain ourselves, educate ourselves, train ourselves ... helps us all learn how to live a better life in this world.

Thank you for that and carry on the good work.

Paulette Dickerson P.O. Box 598 Kensington, MD. 20895-0598
Private Citizen / Library Advocate

Comic Book ESP
Montgomery County Family
August Wilson
Free To All
Founding Fathers
Magic Wands
Chronic Library Users
Libraries! 24/7!
Book People
Urban Libraries
Library Questions
Neighborhood Libraries
Library Heaven
Friendly Libraries
Tight Times
Budget Cuts
Children's Library

Send comments or suggestions to:
E-Mail: "pdickerson (at)"
Paper Mail: Paulette Dickerson, P.O.Box 598, Kensington, MD 20895-0598, USA

Home Page: