It was early one morning,
before the sun poked
its sleepy head above the trees,

before the dog stretched and yawned,

before the coffee brewed,
filling the house
with its wake-up aroma,

that I remembered a day from childhood,
a day spent on the floor of the local library,

a book cradled in my lap,
dusty sunlight
streaming through leaded glass,
creaky floors, heavy oak doors,
the smell of books and wax,

a memory so rich
that even now I can savor its sweetness,

how I wish I could recall the book I held that day.


This is East Branch Library in Evansville, Indiana, my hometown.
It was built in the early 1900’s with funds from the Carnegie Foundation. Carnegie also funded 106 public libraries in the state of Ohio, including our magnificent main library in downtown Columbus, and a total of 1,689 in the United States. He, additionally, built libraries in many other countries. His last grant was issued in 1919. It’s impossible to know how many lives have been changed by the libraries he funded.

4 responses

  1. The most beautiful tribute to libraries I’ve ever read. I can easily imagine you curled up with your book in this comfortable nurturing place! Your words fill my heart with gratitude and memories.

    1. Judy, it is a fortunate life if one has access to a library. We were blessed with a great one. Thanks for your kind comment. xoxo

  2. Maureen Shepherd | Reply

    What a lovely tribute to this childhood sanctuary. Carnegie made a huge difference in so many lives with his philanthropic choice.

    1. Maureen, the more I learn about Carnegie, the more deeply I’m impressed with the magnitude of his philanthropy. We were fortunate to be the beneficiaries of such a great library in our neighborhood. xoxo

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