Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Writing and the Library

I don't want to beat the notion to death, so this is the last time I'll mention it, but I have been having a really good time writing at the library lately. Now, I know I'm not that old in comparison to the average life span and all, but back in my high school days the library was a stereotypical hush-zone where I learned how to make free phone calls from pay phones. Don't get me wrong, I also picked up quite a few good Fantasy novels which fed my addiction to reading as a form of escape from the world.

I knew some kids who would go into one of the sound proof study rooms to play Dungeons and Dragons, but that was about all that the library seemed to offer at the time. Books and DnD. Unless you count copies at, what, 10 cents a sheet?

As I got older, I learned something else about libraries. In contemporary fiction, at least, librarians were secret hotties that could rock your world. This made me think a bit, were librarians attempting to take over by shifting public opinion? A sexy library? Are you kidding me?!

But I suppose it isn't far off-base. No, there aren't any librarian strippers... instead, libraries have modernized. I've recently commented in my posts about my trips to a few of the local libraries and how I've been using this 'away' time to focus on writing when I'd much rather just sit and stare at a wall, mimicking a near-vegetative state. But I'm seriously not kidding. Who would have imagined free Wi-Fi Internet connections, coffee shops, and Saturday movies for the kids a decade ago? I would be willing to wager that the first thought that comes to mind to the average Joe when someone mentions going to the library is "SHHHH!!!!". And that's probably where that stops. That is, unless they read this paragraph and caught the reference of librarian strippers.

A blog post about libraries... I never thought it would come to this, but come on! You NEED to realize how cool these places can be. The Pleasant Valley library even has stations where you can control the outside security cameras! And yet, with the movies, the coffee shop, the free internet, the booths where you can hook your laptop video-out to a monitor to share with those sitting with you... it's still quiet! I can sit and listen to nothing, or I can plug into my iPod and listen to a playlist geared for the type of writing I'm about to immerse myself into.

Have you been to your local library lately? Is it still the same old stereotype, or has it modernized?


j said...

As a former librarian (though I never worked at a public library) I have to agree -- libraries are very happening places. I've never been in a public library that didn't have a lot going on, from checking out books to logging onto computers (we have free wifi in Berkeley, too) to scheduling interesting events.

Jena Isle said...

In the academe, one is "forced" to visit the library. Actual books are still considered as the best reference materials.

Congrats on your nanowrimo.