Been a while, hasn't it? This is a response to Justine Larbalestier
's blog post on the subject, Library Stories
The earliest library experiences I can really remember involve my Elementary School library. (Library/Media Center) It was there that I learned to read better. It was there that I read tons of science books. With the YMCA program, I pretty much spent every school day in the library before and after school for some amount of time.
In middle school, I would often visit the library before school and especially after school. It was only open for about an hour after school ended, but that was an hour to read or do homework before making the trek to my mom's (old) work. I came to know the librarian and assistant librarian very well. I joined the Library Club and Book Club. I even got to check out more books than the limit (5 iirc) over the weekend if I returned them on Monday. We had lunch with a few authors there and even went on a trip (Library Club) to an independent children's bookstore for author readings and signings. (Sadly said bookstore does not exist anymore.) My reading was mostly fiction as the librarian noted when she signed my yearbook. (I was introduced to The Wheel of Time, among other science fiction and fantasy series at this time.)
During high school I usually spent time after school in the library, either tutoring people, working on homework, or reading. Sometimes before school too. (Common theme?) Mostly I checked out science fiction from that library (lots of Card). During (elementary school also) middle school and high school I also used the public library. Almost always the newer Carlsbad branch library, but not always. Even though that is quite far from our house and even further from my high school, it was also the biggest library (and the newest) around. I actually have cards that let me access most of the library branches in San Diego County.
Now at UCLA, I'm generally in one of the libraries for at least a bit every day I'm on campus. I don't know all of their secrets yet, but I know a decent number of them. (All great libraries tend to have secrets, or I'll generalize that anyways.) I've visited the Special Collections Department to read some books. Mostly YA, actually. Plus a bit of old science fiction. Apparently they have more SF books that came in recently. I also entered into a book collection competition this year and managed to win a prize. Nice reception in the Special Collections Department a few weeks ago where I got to meet lots of the library staff and have some interesting conversations. I think it is safe to say that libraries (and librarians) have been important to me for most of my life thus far.