September 28th, 2010
It is a typically hot summer day in Tatum Ranch as I approach the metal walkway to the Desert Broom Branch of the Phoenix Public Library. Like many libraries, the architecture has a modern feel to it and the metal walkway clangs under my feet like a gong announcing my arrival. My husband and I have only lived here for a short time, but this library branch already induces feelings of familiarity and home.
Upon entering the library, I go about my regular tasks. I return books, and hit the hold shelf for anything my husband and I have requested from another branch. I will peruse the DVD selection and the new books that have been set out on eye-catching displays. I might also hit the online catalog even though I probably already did this from home. I love to see all the parents and children entering and the piles of children’s books being lugged in and out of the building. It is a sure sign to me that print books will continue to stay with us for a long time to come.
The automated checkout center is my last stop before leaving, I love the ease of use and the almost magical way the machines can checkout multiple items at once with the RFID tags that grace each item. I can’t help but smile when other patrons around me are amazed by the technology. The air is always filled with a special kind of busy, quiet energy that is unique to this special place.
Individually, and since we married, my husband and I have lived in many different places, but no matter where we go, the library always becomes part of home. We know we can rely on the library to serve our reading, education, and entertainment needs and we take pride in the fact that public libraries everywhere help patrons learn computer skills, search for jobs, and even provide tax forms. The myriad of books, DVDs, and other materials are always there to help introduce our children to the wonderful world o reading, and provide hours of entertainment for nothing more than the tax dollars they already spent by the community and the gracious hearts of those individuals who donate their time and money to groups like the Phoenix Library Foundation.
As I walk back down that metal walkway toward my car, I am always excited to use the materials I have checked out and my heart is filled with appreciation for the Desert Broom Branch. I know the librarians, staff, and volunteers at Desert Broom will faithfully serve their patrons for years to come and continue be a quiet and humble blessing to all who walk through the doors. Consider visiting your local library branch soon and experience the magic.