What Libraries Mean to Me by Joanna Nunez

May 11, 2016 by

This week’s Guest Author Blog Post comes to us from Joanna Nunez! Don’t forget to visit the Friends of the Library Book Store located at the Hood County Library Monday through Saturday, 10-2, open Tuesdays until 6!

 

What Libraries Mean to Me

by Joanna Nunez

I was honored to be asked to write a post about what libraries mean to me, mostly because libraries have been in my life for a long time.

My first memory of libraries started in Kindergarten when, as impressionable five year olds, we were allowed to go to the school library once a week to read books in “the bean bag room”- a rough carpeted room full of easy read/picture books and neon colored bean bag chairs (this was the 80’s!). I was overwhelmed by the amount of books that were readily available to me.  The only disappointment with our library visits was that we were not allowed to check out books.  My mother remedied that by taking me to the public library, where we learned that because I was five, I could get my own library card. A world of possibilities and imagination started for me, right then and there.

Libraries became even more bewildering when my mom finished her Masters in Library Science and she began working at the public library.  I remember relishing the weekends I was allowed to go to work with her- I helped stamp date due cards, read for endless hours and tried to find the oldest possible news articles on microfiche.

Over the years my relationship with libraries deepened, but more as a resource than a fun escape.  Starting in high school I spent many hours in libraries researching and writing papers and bibliographies. College meant double the amount of library time, but by the time I started graduate school I rarely set foot in libraries.  Everything I needed was readily available online, through my local library website.  I had hundreds of scholarly journals available at my fingertips.

I realized I began to miss libraries.  Sure, I still ran in and out of them to check out books, but I wasn’t spending time at them like I used to do.  I joined a book club which met at the library, and that helped. (There is nothing like being scolded by a librarian for being so loud that other patrons can hear you, despite the fact that you’re in a separate meeting room).

In 2014, I began writing a book, a combination memoir of my Dad’s time in Vietnam/self help book about living with a Veteran with Combat PTSD.  Libraries again became a huge part of my life. I spent many hours writing in a cubicle at the library closest to my house.  The fact that it didn’t have the creature comforts of home was a plus- I couldn’t get too distracted.  It also had everything I needed to write- an endless supply of music, Wi-Fi, and a soda machine.  After the manuscript was finished I again turned to the library, this time as a resource.  I read many reference books on how to find an agent, get published and how to market a book. After several months of hard work, a small publishing company out of Connecticut picked up my book.  I credit the library a great deal for this accomplishment. I only hope that my book will one day be on the shelves of my local library, so I can feel that this has come full circle.

 

Joanna Nunez is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with a private practice near Ft. Bragg, NC.  In her precious spare time, she enjoys traveling, baking, cooking, walking, and paranormal investigations. This is her first book, but she is no stranger to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its effect on the person suffering from it, as well as its effect on family and close friends.  She is a proud Give an Hour provider (giveanhour.org) and likes to volunteer at Wear Blue: Run to Remember events (wearblueruntoremember.org), occasionally waking up very early on Saturday mornings to train with the organization.  Her biggest heroes all wear or wore combat boots—her mother and father were career Army, her younger sister is currently an Army officer, and her husband is a seven-year Air Force veteran and current Department of Defense civilian.

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