When I was growing up, one of my favorite adventures was accompanying my parents to the library. There was a beautifully illustrated Cinderella (way superior to Disney’s version) that I checked out as much as possible and wish now I could find in a used bookstore somewhere.
I spent many happy hours reading at the library, and my parents always encouraged me to check out plenty of books. There’s still that one science fiction book from when I was in late elementary school or maybe already middle school, the one about the girl who finds out she’s actually a clone when she takes an unplanned detour that lands her face-to-face with one of her clones. I read it quite happily for 20 or 30 minutes and then set it back on the shelf, for some reason not checking it out. I regretted that decision because I wanted to find out what happened but had completely forgotten the name of the book. I searched the shelves for the book on many subsequent trips, never finding it again.
People flock in, nevertheless, in search of answers to those questions only librarians are considered to be able to answer, such as “Is this the laundry?” “How do you spell surreptitious?” and, on a regular basis, “Do you have a book I remember reading once? It had a red cover and it turned out they were twins.”
― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
My dad was something of a hero at our local library. I had checked out a beautiful picture book on our state, and when the library thought I had lost it (despite my knowing and insisting I had returned it), my dad paid to replace the book. Months passed. The book turned up at the library, mis-shelved. The librarian called to apologize and asked if he wanted his money back. He told them they could consider it a donation. And so, he became a hero to them (which also helped get us out of a few overdue book fines). It’s wise to endear oneself to the local librarian.