Friday, September 11, 2009


Like so many things in life, I couldn't have predicted what I'd see and learn before taking on this "thirty-six libraries in thirty-six days" adventure.

San Diego, like most of California, is a car culture. You get in your car, you drive somewhere, and you get out and go about your day. You don't have to interact with many strangers. Spending so much time in local libraries got me out and into our city.

I had no earthly idea how big San Diego is. Really. I'd always thought the southern parts of the city were Chula Vista and National City, and the eastern parts were El Cajon. I drove on the 905 and 94 for the first times.

And I could never have expected my navigational skills would improve, although they did, if only just a little.

I read books that I didn't know I wanted to, but am so happy I did. There was The Driver, which was lacking in grammar but made up for it in adrenaline. And My Antonia, which I am absolutely positively going to go back and read all the way through. And A Woman Alone, which made me want to go on vacation.

I found out that, when you love your job, it shows. I had hoped this would be the case with librarians, but I wasn't sure before I set out. After all, they have government jobs at a time when governments' budgets are being drastically reduced. But every librarian whom I asked about their job responded that they loved it.

How am I faring in these first two days after finishing this project? I've gone to my local branch twice.

Here's what I want to say in relation to September 11. Libraries are so ubiquitous in San Diego, that you almost don't question their presence. But like I was saying yesterday, things can become so routine that they're taken for granted. So many other countries don't have a single library, let alone one every ten miles. It's just one reason that makes us all so fortunate to be Americans.


Manasse said...

I think this is a really, really cool life experience.

Thanks for sharing it!

Michelle Panik said...

I didn't have a wild college experience, and I think this library marathon might be the closest I get.