Yesterday I went to the library. After seeing online that I had not one but two books waiting on hold for me, I stopped after work. Once I'd parked Oliver (my stud of a car), I went inside and checked the holds shelf. Remembering that my last name now starts with a different letter (a 24 year habit isn't that easy to break!), I grabbed my books and went to the self-checkout. About 60 seconds later, I was on my way out the door, receipt and books in hand.
It didn't hit me until I was back in my car that I hadn't talked to a single person during my little trip. Not a one. I remembered how getting books at the library used to involve asking the librarian if there was anything on hold for you (usually after waiting in line) and getting excited when your family had a whole stack waiting, since at least one book was sure to be yours.
My family was on a first name basis with the librarians at our small town library, and my parents even went to the retirement party of one (I would have had I been living nearby). As I left the parking lot of the library, I fondly remembered Elsie, Paula, Patti, Kathy and all the others who faithfully provided us with hundreds (if not thousands) of books to read over the years, and I was a little sad as I realized that even the library, filled with timeless books, can succumb to our modern, do-it-yourself culture.