Holding Mom's hand, I walked up the steps and into the most wonderful building I'd ever seen. Wood floors, high ceilings, and books everywhere. I must have been about six years old when Mom took me into the public library for the first time. It was amazing to learn that I could get all the books I wanted, whenever I wanted, for FREE!
That first visit to the library was the start of hundreds more over the next ten years. I loved the children's section in the cool, dark basement, and read every Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew ever written.
Growing up in a small farm town, I was a child of the most "old-fashioned" parents in town. (At least I thought so.) In my elementary years we had no TV and never went anywhere for fun. Reading was my escape. I learned that life could be different. There were towns with skating rinks, huge department stores with escalators, drive-ins, boardwalks and endless possibilities for fun. I knew that when I was grown I would not stay in Willows.
Browsing eBay a few years ago, I saw a postcard of the Willows Library and purchased it. The library was built in 1910 and the postcard is from that era. In my memory, the library was a huge building; the photo shows the reality! Today, the public library is in a more modern building, and the old library site is used as a museum. It's good to know that a building that holds such great memories for me has been preserved to showcase the heritage of a small town.