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Library Magic

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“When in doubt, go to the library,” Ron tells Harry in The Chamber of Secrets. Which is good advice for us all, dear writers… especially this month!
Did you know that February is Library Lovers’ Month? To celebrate, Write the World is joining forces with the Boston Public Library to spread the love for those public institutions that make books (and so much more!) free and accessible to all.
The New York Times recently asked several authors to share stories about their favorite libraries. Read the following reflections and then write about a special library in your own life as engi_aeklina13, and akhila78 do in these memorable tributes . We’ve also included a few highlights from the NYT article below:
The first library I knew was an upstairs room over a storefront in my little Kentucky town, with a librarian who didn’t approve of children handling books. (I begged; she relented.) The second was a van kitted out with bookshelves and sent out on the rounds of our rural county, a godsend to children and many adults who had no easy way of getting to town. The Bookmobile was the whole world parked on my gravel road. It came once a month, and we were allowed only three books at a time, but the Bookmobile lady had a heart. She let me check out as many as I could carry. 
– Barbara Kingsolver 
I was 6 when my father walked me to my first library, two blocks away from home, in Oakland, Calif. It was an old red brick building with fancy castle embellishments and gigantic double doors a child would not have been strong enough to push open. As I stood in the vast room, I felt tiny and timid. The only places I’d been with ceilings this high were the church and the hospital. The first provided provisos for entering heaven, and the other contained fever, pain and terror. This enormous room, I soon learned, was like a toy store where everything was free. My parents rarely bought children’s books. Why pay money for something that could be read in an hour and was then used up? 
- Amy Tan 
These are some of the things you can do at the St. Louis County libraries: check out books; check out a ukulele or banjo; take Coding 101 classes (if you’re a kid); earn a high school diploma online (if you’re an adult); eat a free lunch in the summer, including pizza on Fridays. 
- Curtis Sittenfield 
Books, Mama tells me before dropping me off at the Medgar Evers Library, are portals into black survival in America. Mama believes if I can read, write and master everything white Mississippians deem literary, I will be more likely to anticipate and evade the worst parts of my state, and the most terrifying parts of my country.  
- Kiese Laymon 
When I was 27, I decided I wanted to write a novel. I was in graduate school in Orange County, Calif., and had been writing short stories happily, but the idea of Page 1 out of 300 struck terror in me. I needed a way not to give up, so I decided to write five to 10 pages a day until I had a draft. This kept me moving, which I doubt I would have done otherwise. But there was another magical piece: the Newport Beach Public Library.  
- Ramona Ausubel
We can’t wait to read tributes from the next generation of library lovers across the globe.