My nephew, who is 2 1/2 years old, is very excited that I'm coming to read poems at the Library of Congress. However, he's a bit confused; he thinks I'm coming to read at his local library in Germantown, Maryland.
I think it's cool that he loves the library so much (it's his favorite outing) and at such a young age. I think it's cool that my sister and her husband have fostered this love of reading and books. As I remember our family dynamics of our youth, I was the reclusive one with her nose always stuck in a book, and you couldn't pay my sister to read. I'm glad that she's changed; now, as grown ups, some months, depending on our schedules, she reads more books than I do.
However, there's a tinge of sadness in my joy. I know that many local libraries will be suffering funding slashes during these days of economic distress. Or maybe the economic downturn will be good for local libraries. Nothing makes people appreciate the library, with all its many services, like a financial squeeze.
Diane Rehm did a great show on this last week. You can go here to hear it, but you'll need to scroll down to the 11:00 section of the show.