A Love Letter to The Belmont Branch Library

by Katy on December 13, 2016 · 9 comments

The following is a reprint from an earlier blog post. Enjoy.

Dearest Belmont Branch Library,

I’ve lain awake many a sleepless night trying to conjure up words that might adequately describe the feelings of my heart. But every time I make the attempt, I have failed miserably. Please forgive my poor effort and accept a trite and simple phrase: I love you. 

I recall my first visits to you, two-year-old in tow, belly swollen with crazy monster #2. Your heavy front doors would swing open so obligingly at the touch of a button, the air conditioning cooling the sweat from my fevered brow. I knew then that this love was reciprocal. But still I was not ready to melt the frost from my heart. Too many libraries in the past had attempted to seduce me with fragile promises of literary bliss, only to dash my dreams with irregular hours and indifferent librarians. You were the Mr. Darcy to my Elizabeth Bennett. Prickly and yet so perfect for one another.

When you were closed for renovations I felt as though my heart were being ripped out. Yes, I could go to storytime at the Hollywood branch, but it was cold, sterile, full of strangers. I longed for your familiar touch.

But you have won me over, body and soul. When I bring my son in for the “Read to the Dogs” program, I know this is not just puppy love. Wally the dog, you do not fool me while pretending to sleep through the “Star Wars Pop Up Book,” I know your canine heart pants for one more story.

Without you I am incomplete. What would I read? How could I live without the hypnotic caress of the perfect audio book, soothing the crushing boredom of housework. The stacks of crisp Manga to entice my 12 year old into a relaxing stupor. And “Star Trek” DVD sets, how could I exist without the geeky splendor of “Star Trek?!”

It’s not just the thousands of dollars you have saved me in video/ DVD rentals and book purchases. It is the non-judgmental love that flows between us. I love you, Belmont branch library. Never leave me again.

Fall in love with your library, it’s the easiest relationship you’ll ever have.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Mariana December 13, 2016 at 2:15 pm

I appreciate my local Maspeth, Queens library more and more myself. It is super small but I can order ANY book I want from any other Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn branch. Free delivery. Hell, yeah!
I also provides basically unlimited access to kindle program with hundreds of thousands q oils available. Including new releases. It also gives every library card holder free access to Lynda.com membership site which costs $99 a year. Learn all you need any for free. Awesome!


Mrs. Picky Pincher December 13, 2016 at 5:28 pm

This is a wonderful love letter. 🙂 I’d write one to my library, but I think they already know how obsessed I am with them!

Libraries are good for more than just books, too. You can usually rent dvds, music, and sometimes even video games there. It’s an incredible resource when you’re learning how to save money. The library saves us hundreds of dollars a year; check yours out if you haven’t yet!


Karen December 13, 2016 at 6:53 pm

The absolute greatest use of our tax dollars: libraries! I love mine, from the lucky day shelves, where I find the latest releases to the reservation shelves, which hold my book requests. As a writer and researcher, I love that I can order research sources from university libraries from all over the state as well as the next state over. I’m also excited to start bringing my granddaughter to story time when she gets a little older. I’ve already checked out the kids’ area in great anticipation


marie December 13, 2016 at 6:51 pm

I so loved the belmont library in the late “70’s and early “80’s
I remember the beautiful heavy old doors, and the tight-knit feeling of a close family. No other library felt that way.
When I moved and went to the holgate branch, it was ok, but not the same!
I think it had to do with the old wonderful building!


Marilyn December 13, 2016 at 7:19 pm

Wonderful love letter to your local library. I have always been fond of libraries as well. I’ve lived in 8 different states during my life so far. Every time we move, the first order of business is getting a new library card. Libraries are the best!


Diane December 14, 2016 at 4:39 am

Yes…my libraries are my go to places for all the good feels! As soon as I walk in I feel comfort and safety.


susanna d December 14, 2016 at 6:56 am

We have a pretty awesome library, despite being a town that doesn’t even have a stop and go light! Our population does increase by many thousands of people during tourist season, and it was really interesting – and heartwarming – to read the glowing online reviews given to our library by some of our visitors. The library really does offer a lot, and the staff is amazing. I think libraries truly are among the best bargains – and freebies – around.


Is it a need or a want December 15, 2016 at 7:06 am

I love my library, it is one of three in my city that Andrew Carnegie built. It was built at the turn of the last century. My mother, myself and my children have grown up visiting it. It is used in movie scenes filmed in our city and is in a historic area nestled on a riverbank.
I always say this library is like the bar in ” Friends” . All the librarians know your name and will talk about the books you are checking out.
A while back in our city there was talk about amalgamating branches, but they are so closely identified with the nieghbourhoods they are located in. They provide a warm area for many people who may live marginalized , our downtown branch is large and people sleep there when it is bitterly cold out. They have free wi-fi and computers to use.
When I open the door and walk up the stairs I immediately am a child again doing free library activities and book clubs. The smell is the same of books and old wood, drying mittens and snow stomped at the door.
Andrew Carnegie had the right idea:)


Bonna December 15, 2016 at 4:37 pm

I so agree with this post! I live in a sleepy little town with a wonderful library. One of my favorite bloggers listed her favorite reads of 2016. What bliss to go to my library website and order most of them. Nothing brings me the satisfaction of having a nice stack of books to read and I love that it costs me nothing to have this, thanks to my local library:)


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