Tyler Public Library

by admin on December 3, 2009

in Attractions, Education

Tyler Public Library

Tyler Public Library

Our family loves books. In fact, in ten years of marriage, we have moved 6 times. Every move whether before children or after all four kids had come with all of their accessories, the thing that still took up 40% of our moving boxes was books.

So, in an effort to curb the rising tide of literary treasures and still satisfy our need for new reading experiences, I decided it was time to visit the library where we could fill our basket with golden nuggets, read to our hearts content, and return the next week to say goodbye to the adventures of the week before, and start the whole treasure hunt again.

My first visit to the Tyler Public Library was disappointing. Not only did I receive wan looks from staff and patrons upon my arrival with baby in stroller and two well-behaved younguns in tow, I found it impossible find a quiet nook to read aloud the one adventure my daughter just couldn’t wait until we got home to hear. I felt myself glancing around to see who was irritated by our low whispers, and shuttling them about trying to find a section of mother-approved, age appropriate books. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of selection at the Tyler Public Library, but it’s harder to find the best of the best in between the Disney movie regurgitations, and the 49th Golden book that should never have been written, as well as some very obscure out-of-print books which are out of print because…? Yes, well you get my point.

I had such fond memories of going to the Library as a child back home in Minnesota, that I quickly decided my deep disappointment was getting harder to mask, and I didn’t want this place to mar my children’s enthusiasm for going to the library. While I simply wanted to make a hasty exit and pretend I hadn’t just talked up the glory of the Library to such false extremes, I thought I must at least make good on my promise of exciting new books to read. I hurried my two girls along to pick a book apiece and then up to the front to check out and get a Tyler library card.

After glancing at my driver’s license, the lady at the counter looked down her nose and declared, “Oh, you don’t live inside city limits,” as though we were illegal aliens attempting to get food stamps. She went on to describe in a most patronizing tone that we could purchase a punch card for five or ten dollars or spend $25 on a six-month membership (I wanted to yell, “NO Way, Jose!” but restrained myself). After a glance at the $5 punch card and some quick mental calculating, I realized that it was good for ten books. $.50 a book meant that every time we came, I’d have to restrict my indiscriminate young girls to one or two books every time while I myself frantically combed through the rubble to find a few gems. At this point I was just ready to get out of this place, and maybe try to redeem the whole library experience with a quick run through the McDonald’s drive through. Consolation fries for everyone.

Now I recognize that if you do live inside the city limits, you don’t have a passel of kids, and you don’t mind reading rehashed Disney stories to your princess, the Tyler Public Library has a lot to offer: read aloud story time, book clubs, and special events to encourage literacy. But I have to confess…I’ve got a punch card with 8 book rentals left on it, and it’s up for grabs because I’m not going back.

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