Tuesday, April 14, 2015

June Ingraham for National Library Workers Day

During my time growing up and entering young adulthood, one steady constant in my life was the Calistoga public library. June Ingraham was the Calistoga librarian, and I honor her today for National Library Workers Day.

(I extend related appreciation to my mother, Polly R. Parkhill, who arranged my first library card and who also saw to it that I was able to go to the public library at least once a week. Mrs. Ingraham and my mother both influenced my becoming a lifetime user of public libraries.)

The library children’s room was an inviting place where I could stretch out full-length in a beanbag chair. I spent hours in that room, reading Choose Your Own Adventure, Thornton Burgess animal fantasies and Laura Ingalls Wilder. And with my library card, I was able to take these wonderful books home with me.

As I grew older, I ventured among the wider library holdings: fiction, non-fiction and a periodicals collection that included area newspapers.

By 1979, the Calistoga library was part of the Napa County Library system. Having access to materials through these other libraries gave me an early and lasting appreciation for cooperative lending between library branches.

But by itself, the Calistoga library has special significance for me and, to this day, when I think of it, it’s with Mrs. Ingraham checking out books to me from behind the circulation desk.

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