For the most part I’ve forgotten almost all of my librarians’ names. Not Mrs. Riggs though. She was my grade school librarian and she was ridiculously kind to me. She knew all the good books, film strips, and records and never batted an eye when I managed to talk my teacher into letting me out of class (which I hated) to go watch my Greek gods and goddesses film strip again.
Her little haven of books was my favorite place in the school. Loved it more than the playground. Certainly more than the classroom. I loved Mrs. Riggs more than any student in the school and more than all but one teacher. She had two things I value above all others, kindness and a really great collection of books.
I was so disappointed by the junior high school library. It was run by managers who were always in the back, telling the student volunteers what to do. If my high school had an adult librarian, I never saw any evidence of it. I failed to be impressed by school libraries again until I was in college. For some reason, the University of California, Davis’ library, where my mother worked for a time, seemed rather commonplace to me, but BYU’s Harrold B Lee library filled me with awe.
Years later I was in my elementary school library and picked up a book that had fallen out of popularity—Twenty and Ten, I think. It still had my name written on the card a half a dozen times. I was just flooded with lovely library memories. And when the Yvil sister became a substitute teacher for a while about a decade ago, she ran into Mrs. Riggs who remembered her. Twenty years after the fact.
She also sort of remembered me. “There was another one of you. She talked. A lot.” Oh, yes, indeed, I did. How could I resist? A kind adult with rooms full of books that she couldn't wait to share with me. You betcha I talked with her. A lot. Bless her lovely soul!
This could be an actual picture of a patronus for bibliophiles.