Almost every summer when we were children, we would spend about a week with our maternal grandmother. Even after we moved from Montana to South Dakota we still would spend time with Grammie while our parents would go on to another location for some shopping, alone time or for reasons unknown to us.

I remember Grammie as being a heavy-smoking funster, when we were little kids. She'd let us run through the sprinkler, play croquet, badminton and wasn't opposed to turning cartwheels with us in the soft green grass of her big backyard, just to prove how spry she still was and, she always took us to the library.

It was a big, beautiful, red brick building in Missoula, Montana and just entering it, brought on an almost mystical, adventurous aura. As little as we were, you felt even smaller with all the zillions of books, shelves, file cabinets, and big desks. And the librarians who were all as old as Grammie, (at that time, probably an ancient 60) seemed ready to discipline us for stuff we hadn't even thought up yet!

But we got to choose whatever books we wanted, we took them back to Grammie's house, dug in and - oh the adventures we took! I was usually sad that we had to return them because I could have read them over and over.

I cherish those memories because as the years went on, we grew up, Grammie turned older, became a much more difficult, complicated person, who was much less inclined to amuse her three granddaughters. She turned to Harlequin romances which she would pass on to us for reading material, which was fine, but it meant no more library trips.

You can make the same kind of memories for your children and grandchildren, as well as instill a lifelong love of reading, learning and adventuring, by getting those kids a library card.

Oh I know it is much easier to buy them an electronic reading device or just a computer for reading and homework, but that negates the fun of browsing through "the stacks". Losing yourself in the particular ambiance and smell of a building which holds books bound in a variety of materials is a kind of art form. One which I was particularly good at even in high school and college.

That is why during this National Library Week (through Saturday, April 15, 2017) I strongly urge you to check out our great Siouxland Libraries. Whether it is books, magazines, movies, or music you're after, or all of the other programs, classes and services they offer, you really will find it all at the library!

For more information call (605) 367-8720 or find them online.


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