The Library Card: A Ticket to Adventure

by on September 3rd, 2015

I was sitting at my desk Monday when I received a phone call from the Help Desk.

This postcard shows an image of the Fort Dodge Public Library I remember. The Carnegie building closed on November 30, 2000. The new library opened in by the City Square in January 2001.

This postcard shows an image of the Fort Dodge Public Library I remember. The Carnegie building closed on November 30, 2000. The new library opened in January 2001.

“There’s someone here to see you.”

I didn’t have an appointment scheduled, but drop-ins aren’t uncommon, so I grabbed a notebook and pen, and walked to the Library’s first floor.

“There you are!”

It was my parents. They live on the other side of the state, but ever since my dad retired, surprise visits have become a common thing. They don’t last long — my parents left after I gave them a tour of the Library — but they make me smile. (Then I text my siblings to let them know that our parents are on the road again and to be prepared.)

I love giving tours of the Library, be it to people I’m related to or visitors who stop by because they’ve heard great things about ICPL. From the slide in the Children’s Room to the Koza Family Teen Center on the second floor, the Art-To-Go collection and an amazing selection of graphic novels, the Library is a wonderful place that truly has something for everybody.

Author Lilian Jackson Braun says “a library card is the start of a lifelong adventure.” As we celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month, I think back to the adventures I’ve had because of my Library Card. They begin, of course, with the stories I’ve read, but entwined are memories of biking to the Library with friends and that huge feeling of maturity when my mom decided I was old enough to hold on to my Library Card instead of giving it to her for safekeeping.

My very first Library Card was from the Fort Dodge Public Library. It was about the size of a business card, made from heavy beige paper, with a silver bar threaded through it. The card came with a tiny manila-type envelope for safekeeping. I felt so grown up every time I used it. I thought it was amazing that with just this card, I could take home any book I wanted for free.

I still think it’s amazing.

As I led my parents around ICPL, my mom joked that they had to stop by to see if I was actually working. I was always a reader, so it’s safe to assume I would spend my days at a Library and call it my job.

“It’s the perfect job for you, kid,” my dad said as they left to visit one of my younger sisters.

It’s not only a job, it’s an adventure. It’s a Library.

2 Responses to “The Library Card: A Ticket to Adventure”

  1. Sarah Schminke says:

    I LOVE…LOVE…LOVE this story!!!! Meredith, you knocked it out of the park!!!!

  2. Heidi Lauritzen says:

    What fun to meet your parents–AND help you eat the muffins they brought for you and your coworkers. We will vouch for how hard you work, especially if treats are involved.

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