Because some of the library memories are longer than normal comments, I'm going to put them into actual blog entries. Guest blogs, if you will. I'll continue to do this as more of them come in.
We too had a Carnegie library (actually found someone's flickr gallery that had a whole collection of Carnegie Library photos)
I used to spend countless hours there, I'd check out books, 8mm film reels, records, magazines, anything and everything to escape that little town for a while. I remember this old massive coffee table sized book - the collected comics of Buck Rogers, and another one that was Batman and another that was Superman. Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, Robert Howard, Heinlein, Zane Grey, Leslie Charteris, Fleming, Burroughs, then King, Koontz, and others.
My old library account started off with my little initial for my last name and as I turned 15 they changed it to a capital L - I was SO proud. :) and I bet you would find most of the old books in that old place with my L899J code in the checkout pocket in the front.
One of the REALLY cool things about this particular library that made it my favorite library (and funnily enough there was a Parish Library across the street from it, and one 9 miles down the road in Lake Arthur - I had memberships in every library within 50 miles I believe) was that downstairs, in the lower level, was a huge collection of natural history behind glass cases - a giant clam shell, puffer fish, a sawtooth blade from whatever the heck that fish is, fossils, artifacts of exploration that had been donated to this old place back in the 30's. This collection had been donated by a man named Lucius Lyman Morse(1835-1921) who I could find little information on with Google.
Joel, commenter Bhob leaves the following information about Lucius Lyman Morse...
Lucius Lyman Morse established Morse Hardware in Jennings, Louisiana, in 1889-94. Probably more in THE BIRTH OF JENNINGS. Also, one of the most famous names in radio, Carlton E. Morse (creator of ONE MAN'S FAMILY), was born in Jennings.
MORSE, Walter D., merchant, local historian. Born, 1880, Williamsburg, Iowa; son of Lucius Lyman Morse. Father established Morse Hardware Co., Jennings, La., 1894. Continued father's business. Supporter of Jennings civic and cultural endeavors. Sunday School superintendent of First Congregational Church (now Presbyterian). Authored The Birth of Jennings (1961). Married Mabel Parsons. Three children: Leighton, Norma M. (Merrit), and Dwight. Died, Pomona, Calif., December 17, 1965; interred Pomona. M.H.N.† Sources: Files, Jennings Carnegie Library; Jennings Daily News, December 12, 1961; December 24, 1965
I have many memories of the library. One in particular stands out.
I guess I was in junior high, as we used to call middle school, when I first went to the main public library in Brooklyn. I had to take the subway. It was called the Grand Army Plaza branch and it was across from, of course, the Grand Army Plaza which looks like the Arch d'Triomphe in Paris. Anyway, the doors were about 50 feet high and it was majestic with what looked like hierglyphics in gold leaf. I felt soooo small. Inside, all the stacks were open and I could go anywhere and browse for hours and hours. Free!!!
On occasion when I forgot my library card I would hide a book among the thousands of books, behind a row, or sometimes out of place so I could find it the next time I came because no one could check it out.
Last thought, a commenter mentioned the bookmobile. I recall having library hour in school. One period a week our class went to the library in our school and read any book we chose. I recall having trouble picking the right book because you could not get another one. It had to last. Not that I was a fast reader but I got bored really fast. Does anyone remember library time? Do they still do it? One kid in my class got the same book every single week. I don't recall the name, but it had kids flying on the cover.
I can't believe I'm actually going to commit this to cyber-space (40 some years later), but here goes...
I too recall several favorite library experiences. Like going to the downtown library when they had book sales. I'd happily spend several hours there, looking at the cover jackets reading the descriptions of the plots and trying to decide which arm-load of books I would take home with me.
As for my sex story? I would love looking through all of the larger picture books that had pages and pages of scenes from Hollywood films (and my favorite pages were, of course, the ones with women showing off a bit of cleavage or legs but in particular all the dancing scenes from musicals.)
The embarrassing part? I would carefully tear off a small piece of the upper corners of the 'best' pages so that I could easily return to them later on in future library visits.
(Don't get me wrong, I READ my share of books as well. But ohhhhh, the pictures.....)