I’m addicted to libraries, especially ones that have inter-library loans.

Yet in all my years, and for all the libraries I’ve visited, I’d never before had to go through a metal detector and a x-ray scanner to get into a city public library. That was until I decided to get a library membership/card from the Martin Luther King Jr. library in Washington, D.C., which is conveninetly located two blocks from my office.

You see the Takoma Park library is pretty small, and about to get even smaller (fit into a bookmobile) when in a month construction work begins on the old building. Moreover, it doesn’t do inter-library loans meaning I’d found just about every book of interest I could from there before I graduated from college in 2003.

So I walked through the revolving door to the right of the set of doors and laid my personal items on the x-ray scanner and then walked slowly through the metal detector. It was like going into the Capital Building or one of the Congressional office buildings, but without having a press pass to get in before the general public is allowed in every morning.

I was even more entertained to realize that there was no one checking bags or watching whether people actually checked out the library books before leaving the building. I understand why they check us going in, to look for weapons, but still it seemed a bit extreme for something that usually is a tranquil experience for me.

The library has three floors, two of which I am likely to frequent. The stacks are pretty well stocked with old and new books, the collection of books on CD is large enough to last me at least a few years and they have a decent collection of books on crochet patterns.

While I was looking for the arts and crafts section, I happened upon an entire row of sheet music and music books for nearly every musical instrument I could think of. It automatically made me wish I had my piano in my basement apartment (not at my parents). Yet it has also inspired me to go back at some point and pick out some music to learn in the piano practice rooms in the college around the corner from my apartment, which also happens to be my Alma Mater. 

Right now I’ve got a set of crochet books for afghan patterns and for making those cute stuffed Amigurumi animals. I’m set on making a penguin, owl and octopus first. But first I have to go out and buy button eyes, felt for the mouth areas and some stuffing that can go through the wash without shriveling up and falling through the crochet stitches.