Monday, April 12, 2010

Library Stories

I’m a librarian at Leeds Jane Culbreth Library in Alabama. We’re just a few miles outside Birmingham, and we’re part of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative. Right now we’re working hard to raise money for a new library building.

The building we are in now is on the main street of our small town, and it was a department store when I was a child. We called it “the ten-cent store.” Now it’s the Leeds Library. The roof leaks and every time it rains, we have to place plastic buckets, trays and garbage cans around to catch the water! So, we really need a new building.

The Leeds Public Library began about 1923 in two rooms above a building on Ninth Street. As public interest and financial support grew, the city leased the building at the present location in 1971.
The official name was changed to The Leeds Jane Culbreth Library on April 19, 1998, to honor Jane Culbreth, a champion of city improvement. Her memoir, Hitching My Wagon to a Star, is available at the library.

I was born right across the street from where our library is now, in a building that was a medical clinic, and is now a dental office. While working at the circulation desk, I can look out and see the place where I was born! When I was a small child, there was a blacksmith’s shop right in back, across the alley from the library’s back door.

One of my earliest library memories is the Book Mobile that came to visit our elementary school when I was in the first grade. That was always an exciting day. When it was our turn to go in to visit the book mobile and pick out a book, it was thrilling to step up into the white library-on-wheels and look at all the books inside. The first book I checked out was a picture book called “Pooty”, about a little black and white kitten. I thought that was the funniest name for a cat, but I loved the book!

Now, I’m writing children’s stories, and hope to some day have one of my own picture books in the library for children to check out.


Shelli (srjohannes) said...

Thanks for the stories :)

Joanne Cage! said...

When I was growing up here, the only library in town was the little white building behind the high school. There were also two classrooms in that building; one was "Fesser" Jones's world history class.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

I remember that library in the little white building. I also remember the Bookmobile. I believe Aunt Winnie was the champion of that project.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

I also remember the ten cent store. We'll never again experience the pure fun and joy of going in there and finding a treasure and taking it home.

Ramey Channell said...

You know we had two Ten-Cent stores; At the moment I can't remember the names of either of them. But I will! We got Pete the parakeet at the store where Marie Patmon worked.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

The one where the library is was Elmore's, I believe. The other one was up the street toward Carl-Ann's, and I can't remember it's name either. I think we got Pete at Elmore's. I don't remember which one Marie worked at. I had even forgotten she worked at one of them. I have dreamed lots of times about being in one of those stores.