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Gus Gordon's memories of library time (a feature for Schools Catalogue Information Services, SCIS website) 

When I was a kid (this feels like last week but unfortunately I'm talking a little while before this), I found solace in the school library. I took this for granted at the time but looking back I now know why I felt so comfortable there. For one, I could cosily disappear into the world of books and feed my exceedingly active, and at times counter-intuitive imagination, without any repercussions or annoying questions. This was the only time in the day where my daydreaming and short attention span could run down the same alley without veering off down distraction lane and into trouble. I usually had a spot in the library, my spot, where I would sit with my head hidden in a book, my mind swimming with detectives and war pilots and the abominable snowman. Rather rapidly, I would become unaware of my surroundings for long periods of time and as a result I was often late for class, having not heard the bell nor realised that there was now not a soul in the room. In the library I was as focussed as I could possibly be.

I got to know the librarian so well that she would put books that she thought I'd enjoy aside for me, ready for my next visit. I learnt librarians know things about their book readers that they themselves don't know yet. This is a super power. I enjoyed being led in new reading directions. It was entirely possible to go from a book about missing jewels to an undersea adventure to cold war spies to spontaneous human combustion - in that order. It was also exciting knowing that another book awaited, and it sat in my library bag with an apple core and my maximum allowance of books I was able to borrow for the week. Librarians also know a lot about the Loch Ness Monster. That's just one of the many things they know.

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