Funny the way it is (sorry, I have a Dave Mathews Band earworm) that things happen at the same time and take on more significance because of their concurrence. We've all seen plenty of this in the past couple of weeks with celebrity deaths, but I've got something a little more positive in mind. Today was my elder Mini Maven's first day of volunteering at our local library; it was no small feat for her to win this opportunity, since we live in a fairly eggheaded town and the list of would-be helpers is long. She likes it so much already that she's planning to continue the work during the school year.
It just happened that her initial volunteer shift came on the same day that I accepted a new volunteer position myself, as a member of the executive committee of alums who support our alma mater's libraries. While I probably didn't take as much advantage of those libraries as I should have while I was an undergraduate, I did work for three years at the main reserve desk and have many great memories of my fellow student colleagues and the ever-patient library staff.
My daughter and I will be doing very different volunteer jobs. She'll be working at least twice a week shelving, helping young children find books, and prepping new materials. I'll be taking bi-annual trips to my old school and meeting with professionals who include librarians, lawyers, authors, and executives.
Of course, both of us will be helping to improve libraries. As I thought about that, I realized that improving the libraries of today means affecting the libraries of tomorrow. There are so many things to be said about this subject, and it deserves a far better blog entry than I, someone who has never been a librarian, can write. However, I do think it's worth pondering for everyone who loves books: What do you think a future library will look like? What changes would you like to see in your favorite library? I'd love to hear your ideas.