When we think of an afternoon at the library (or just the librarian), two letters come to mind: one “S” and a lot of “H’s” …. Shhhhh! Librarians are known for having lots of rules to keep their libraries quiet for people reading, studying or just trying to enjoy the chance to be lost in thought.

Libbie Hough

Libbie Hough

This week, we talked with Libbie Hough, the former Orange County School ¬†Board member and current Communications Specialist for the Orange County Library. Libbie told us a little bit about the library’s strategic planning process and her team’s commitment to bring the work of the library to parts of the county well away from the building itself. This might mean the return of something like a bookmobile, which would be great fun. We had a good laugh about the possibility of a giant RV that she could travel the county (and the state) with, all in the name of promoting the library. More likely, it will be something a bit more manageable (and easier to park). The results of the library’s recent survey will be rolled out in the first part of October and we’ll watch with great interest.

We also talked, though, about our childhood experiences in going to the library and what fond memories we have (as parents) of the library as a quiet space … time for quiet and calm puzzles and books. We talked about how spaces like the library (and dentist offices, oddly enough) and their quiet surroundings are soothing and increasingly rare in our busy, always-connected world. Having time with your own thoughts without interruption is a precious thing. Personally, I believe that libraries are much more than places to store books. I’m convinced they are time machines, allowing us to travel extensively, vicariously exploring new or very old worlds.

Drop by the library … and keep your voice down!