Library is special place for all ages

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By Lee Scott

The last few weeks have been so busy that I have not had a chance to relax and read a book. It was only when a friend recommended one that I decided it was time to visit the library.

I walked into the St. Helena Branch Library on Halloween Day and realized that the employees were dressed in costumes and had placed children’s Halloween books out on display. It looked great and inviting for young people.

I headed to the front desk and asked the branch manager, Maria Benac, about the book and she directed me to the “Book Club” section. This is a designated area where local book clubs order books from their reading lists. However, the books can be checked out by anybody.

As I was crouching down reviewing titles, a little girl, around 18 months, came up next to me and started to talk to me. I could tell she was asking me what I was looking for on the shelf.

Although I could not understand many of her words, her intonation was unmistakable. As we chatted away her father hovered nearby with the “Is she bothering you?” look which I immediately dismissed. “She’s fine.” I said.

I proceeded to tell her about the book I was looking for and asked her whether I should just find another book that looked interesting.

As we reviewed the books together, she would pull out a book, hand it to me to determine if it was the one. If I shook my head, “No, that’s not it,” she would place it back.

She finally pulled out a new book and handed it to me. “Ahh,” I said “I have not read this one yet.” She smiled and babbled away. Her job with me was done. She wandered off to advise other patrons with dad right behind her.

I remember being taken to the library by my mother when I was very young. It has been a lifelong habit. It is so important for children to feel as comfortable surrounded by books as this little one.

When I finally found the recommended book, I realized that I still had the other book given to me by my little friend. The title of the book: “Best Friends Forever,” by Kimberla Lawson Roby. It seemed an appropriate book to recommend to a new friend.