Tonight, I celebrated my birthday (which isn’t until Monday) with my family – my husband, my mother, my father, my brother, my sister in law, my 8 yr old nephew, my 6 yr old niece and 2 yr old nephew. It was a rather loud and boisterous evening. We had pizza for dinner – which is my favorite meal. I even got a special present (beyond my Amazon gift certificates) – a panda WebKinz that I have named Freddie – from my niece and nephews. It was a wonderful evening.
However, I had a very interesting conversation with my niece and nephew early in the evening. I had helped my brother create email accounts for the two oldest kids. They were ecstatic about getting their own email accounts. After my nephew sent me an email from his new account, he added me to his address book. He was adamant about filling in all of the personal information about the contact. I gave him my middle name, address, and phone number. Then, he got to the professional information. He wanted to know where I worked and what my title was. When I said that I worked in a library, my niece turned to me with wide eyes and said “That must be why you are so smart, Aunty Jen – because you work in a library with all those books.”
I was flattered that the kids think I’m smart, but was a bit taken aback by their comments. It is really interesting to hear opinions of the library from the very young. To them, the library is a magical, and somewhat mystical, place. It is a place filled with books that invite them to explore new worlds. Above all, it is a wonderful place where they love to go. They can’t quite verbalize that they see the library as a place of knowledge, but that is indeed how they see it. It was a fascinating conversation. They were incredibly impressed that I am a librarian. I think that I needed a bit of a reminder that the library is indeed a magical place. This reminder really could not have come at a better time. Wow, what a neat birthday gift!