I’ll confess. I bothered librarians for many years.
My mom worked across from the Venice library. I spent many afternoons there, sweaty after running loose after school, waiting for a ride home, reading anything but homework. There’s no way the librarians would remember me fondly.
Back then, I didn’t care.
I got my first Sarasota County card when I was 12 in 1974, and have had one pretty much continuously ever since.
For years as an editor, I pestered the reference librarians at Elsie Quirk Library with calls for information they’d cheerfully look up for me. This was before I found Google and abandoned them, just like that.
As a father of youngsters and husband of a kindergarten teacher, I ran in and out of the Elsie Quirk and the Englewood Charlotte libraries for years, fetching picture books — sometimes giant-sized storytime picture books — or music CDs, videos, whatever is on the list.
I could even be blamed for upsetting the whole library system, after a librarian figured out I was using Sarasota County’s library system even though I’d moved to the Charlotte County part of Englewood. I wrote about the weirdness of having two libraries in the same town that were not connected. Library bosses decided to fix that, and the reciprocal agreement is still in effect today. (You’re welcome.) These days, though, I try to make up for my past transgressions by doing my best not to bother the librarians. With online catalogs and self-checkout machines, it’s easier to tread lightly and let them help other patrons.
I took it a step further last month. Library manager Amie Lemire wrote her newspaper column about Sarasota County’s new smartphone app. I downloaded it immediately. The name of the app event fits my mission: “Find Yourself at the Library.”