That Great New Library Card Smell!
By Kay Richardson
Is there anything like that smell?
It was library day for grandson Hunter and me. We try to (and usually do) go to the library every other Wednesday. Our outstanding central library building is simply a wonderment of design, information and imagination. We look forward to our library visits for different reasons, but none less important than the time we spend together in appreciation of those attributes.
His first intent always is to visit the DVD section to see if there are any new train videos he hasn’t seen yet. (Hey, whoever is producing those, keep it up!)
I decided it was time for Hunter to have his own library card. All these years we’ve been doing this, I’ve been checking out his materials with my card, which is okay, but I wanted him to have his own card. I’m not sure what kind of reaction I expected from this. But the process was exciting to me.
The librarian was nearly as excited as I was when I made the request. As I filled out the necessary paperwork, she told me she wanted to give him the usual schtick she gives all kids receiving their library card. Ok, I told her, but he has a bit of autism going on, and I can’t guarantee you’ll get any eye contact or reassurance he knows what you’re talking about. He probably will get it, but you, yourself, just might not know that for sure.
So I corralled him from the DVD section for the orientation.
The young woman behind the desk could scarcely hide her exuberance. It took about 28 seconds:
“Hi, Hunter! This is your very OWN library card! Now, it’s important you keep it in a safe place and always bring it with you when you come to the library because if you want to check out books, you can’t if you don’t have it. So, now, would you sign the back?”
What Hunter probably heard:
“Hi, Hunter! This is your ……..blah blah blah………..sign the back.”
He eagerly signed the card because it was a really cool Sharpie pen, but needed help spelling his last name. Then as quickly as he came, he was trotting toward the stairway to heaven, er, the children’s floor where all the cool hands-on stuff (meant for 0-5-year-olds) is. I collected the card, smiled and thanked the librarian and her misty-eyed assistants standing nearby.
Kay Richardson is a Clark County native and proud grandmother of five. You can often see her with her grandson, Hunter at Autism Empowerment-sponsored activities, as well as Special Celebrations. She works in the newsroom at The Columbian and in her spare time enjoys sewing, hiking and gardening.
This article was originally published in the Summer 2017 issue of Spectrums Magazine.