Ode To The Public Lending Library

23 02 2008

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the public library, East Peoria’s to be precise.

My grandma lived across the street from the library. We would walk over there and I would get my weekly quota of books. My mom would take me to the library and let me wander the stacks. When I was older, I walked or rode my bike.

My mother was a reader too; she understood the need to browse. I thank her for instilling the love of books in me from an early age. I have had many adventures and come to know many different worlds through my love of books.

I always participated in the summer reading program, earning many a kid’s meal from Rax Roast Beef, housed in what is now the East Peoria Post Office building.

Let’s digress. I loved Rax! Those kid’s meals came with alligator shaped plastic cups. Some Internet research shows that only 30 Rax remain in the U.S., primarily in Ohio and Kentucky. I will keep that in mind for future travels, though this could be a matter similar to my recent rediscovery of Beverly Hills 90210. What if they don’t have the alligator sippy cups anymore??!!

There was always a party at the end of the summer reading program. One summer I came in second for reading the most books. Another summer someone from Glen Oak Zoo came to the library party, bringing along some friends of the furry and scaly variety. My neighbor, Lindsey, and I were on the front page of the East Peoria Courier in the summer of 1985 or 1986. We were shown petting a skunk.

Today I went to the East Peoria library. I got 12 books from the list of books that I want to read. Yes, fair blog-readers, my love affair with Borders is over. The public lending library and I are back together and things are going well.




4 responses

23 02 2008

I just put over 60 books on reserve at my library.

I [heart] the library so much.

24 02 2008

The idea that we can go into this big building with all these books and leave with them only on the promise to bring them back amazes me as much today as it did when I was a kid! The whole family hits the library on a weekly basis…it’s such a cool thing.

25 02 2008

Holy Guacamole! I remember Rax! We used to have one and it was next to the Dairy Queen. They had a really good salad bar. It’s now an italian restaurant.

25 02 2008

I, too, am a library lover. My kids both love books, but are more fond of Borders. The spoiled brats!

I have similar memories of the library as a child. Not being athletic, it was my playground, something I did well. I often read the most books of anyone (but this was in Sunnyland, snicker, so the competition wasn’t fierce) and one time won a jar of jelly beans, arranged in a rainbow pattern.

Did I ever tell you I worked at RAX? For about a week. I was scheduled a few 2 hour shifts, restocking the salad bar/buffet line, but then during a shift I was asked to take out the trash. Spoiled as I was, the thought of touching the trash can (and dumpster) was so bad, that I quit.

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