Dear Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh,
Perhaps it is a little early in our relationship to tell you this (you’ll recall that tomorrow marks our four month anniversary together), so forgive me if I’m being presumptuous.
But tomorrow is also Valentine’s Day, so this is the perfect occasion to say those three little words.
I’m in love.
With everything about you.
I love that you allow me to check out up to 50 books at a time.
And that nobody at the circulation desk blinks an eye when my fines creep higher and higher.
I love the secret window that allows me to look down upon the dinosaurs.
I love that someone put a warm scarf on Dippy the Dinosaur during this long cold winter.
I love the quiet sense of history I get whenever I walk in the building.
I love that kids don’t have to be quiet.
And that kids all over the globe are discovering the Library online through My StoryMaker.
And that our libraries are the cool places for teens to hang out.
I love the way that Main looks at night.
And that you can come enjoy the Library After Hours.
I love that the First Floor librarians are enablers, telling me to “take as many as I want” when they see me browsing the stacks.
I love the conversations that happen among strangers on our Facebook page.
And among real life Library users when you find yourself browsing in the same stack, interested in the same thing.
I love reading the chalkboards.
I love when I feel guilty about taking a new display book from its stand, I know another excellent one will quickly replace it.
I love that I can renew my books online at 11:59 p.m., avoiding a fine by mere seconds.
I love when a donor tells me that he or she loves the Library.
I love that brilliantly magical moment when a child gets his or her own library card and for a few seconds, traveling back in time and becoming six years old again.
I love getting lost in the stacks (I need to carry a GPS) and discovering a new author.
I love that we have a GLBT section on the First Floor and that it’s not hidden away.
I love that we offer so many diverse programs and events.
I love that we offer Sensory Storytimes for children with special needs.
I love that when we were looking for a family-friendly place to go with my son with autism, we came to (and were welcomed at) the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main.
I love that every one of our CLP branches is different.
I love the immensely talented staff members I’m privileged to work with and call friends.
I love going to meetings and coming back with five books.
And recommendations of five more to read.
I love the peacefulness of the International Poetry Room.
I love being able to hear a new-to-me song on the radio while driving into work in the morning, and checking it out so I can listen to it on my drive home.
Or downloading it via Freegal.
I love walking up those worn marble steps.
I love that patrons can drink coffee anywhere on the first floor.
And that a Donor Plus Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh card offers a discount at Crazy Mocha.
I love that I could continue this list forever.
And that there is still so much more at the Library to fall in love with.
Love, Melissa F.