Monday, February 4, 2019

At the Library (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 5)

The library: a place of refuge; a place of contentment; a place for quiet; a place for insight; a place of discovery; a place for excitement; a place for travel; a place for research; a place of pure delight!

The library is and always has been all of these things to me and, honestly, so much more. I spent many days at the library in my youth, mostly in those wonderful libraries at the schools I attended. I live in a big city, and even though I didn’t have one within walking distance of my home, my mother made sure that my brother and I visited our city’s main library as often as possible. (That main library has since moved to a newer, larger, and much improved facility.) When I finally got my own driver’s license at age 16, the main library was one of the first places I visited.

I still go to the library as often as possible. I’ve lived near the same local branch of our city’s system for the last 40 or so years. It’s less than a mile away from my house. I serve on the Board of that branch’s Friends of the Library and have done so for many years. I love that little library. Its very presence has brought a great deal of happiness to me and my family. Nevertheless, my husband and I would often find ourselves driving the approximately nine miles that it takes to visit the main library. The offerings, the research opportunities, and the special events there are all outstanding.

I will admit, however, that now I have a “new” library that has become near and dear to my heart. That library? The Germantown Regional Historical and Genealogical Center (GRHGC). I only discovered that library sometime around the year 2008 when the Tennessee Genealogical Society (TNGS) moved its headquarters to share the same building with the GRHGC. I joined that Society in 2006 and most of its workshops had been taking place at the main library in Memphis. With the move of the Society to Germantown, I found a new and exciting place to visit!

Since Germantown is a town outside the city of Memphis limits, I didn’t go there often. Nevertheless, it didn’t take me long to determine that the GRHGC and TNGS is located a mere seven miles from my house. That’s even closer than our own main library. The trip is well worth it because of the joys and delights I discover there with each trip!

As a family history researcher, I found an abundance of genealogical sources that aided me in my pursuit of my family’s heritage. In all of the books I used, however, one book in particular kept drawing me to it because so much of my direct line’s origins are documented in it: Early Charles County Maryland Settlers, 1658 – 1745, 2006, Heritage Books, Inc. (I wrote about this particular book in last week's blog post.)

One day I realized that I was using that book so often that I should probably just buy a copy and add it to - yes - my own library at home. The number of books my husband and I collected together over the years is enough for a small library itself.  I know that I need to “do something” with many of those books, especially the ones I boxed up after his death, but it’s truly hard for me to get rid of a book. It’s like losing a friend; like losing part of my own library experience.

“At the Library” was the prompt for week 5 of “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Writing Challenge. How easy this was for me to write about.

 “At the Library?” That’s where I am most of the time; it’s also where I live.

Just a few of the many bookcases and shelves with books 
tucked away in our home.

@2019 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland


  1. I enjoyed reading about the libraries that hold a special place in your heart!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed reading my post.