I know it's just my opinion, but I think this is how a library should look. Rows of wooden shelves full of books, wooden tables warmly lit by lamps. This is the Linn-Henley Research Library. It was the "downtown library" from 1927- 1984 when a newer, snazzier, shinier one was built across the street. This is the library where my high school friends and I congregated on week nights to "work on term papers and very important assignments ( meet our boyfriends). I have many fond memories of those nights spent slaving away over reference books etc. I also have another memory I'll never forget. It's as clear as if it happened yesterday. One Sunday afternoon in May 1963, we really did have a paper due and were all headed downtown to actually work. Our parents told us we couldn't go. It wasn't safe. That was the day Bull Connor and his men took care of a demonstration in nearby Kelly Ingram Park with dogs and fire hoses. A sad day in the history of my city. While we've moved past those dark days, we haven't forgotten.
Despite that, when I walked in this place a few weeks ago, I had a good feeling as I nosed around. The only differences seemed to be the laptop computers on those beautiful old tables and the librarians were using a mouse instead of a rubber stamp. It was quiet, the lamps lit the lovely murals and gorgeous painted ceiling ( a post for another day). A nice time for me to look back. Thankfully this lovely old building has been kept in pristine condition and is still being used to its fullest.
This post is dedicated to my friends Loretta and Altadenahiker, who both remember and love card catalogs!