One of my favorite memories is of the old Carnegie Library downtown—the 2nd one that was renovated in 1937 after the 1st one was damaged in the 1933 earthquake.
It was the 1960s, I was a music-loving teen, and I went there to check out record albums. The music department was downstairs, which was really more of a basement. There was little natural light, a musty smell, and the albums were shelved upright on metal shelves that rattled a little when touched or brushed against. The whole place felt apart from the many rooms of books overhead, like a secret archive below the Vatican, and I loved going there. Record albums were pretty inexpensive back then and the more I listened to the more I bought for my personal record collection, which grew over the years to almost 3,000 titles. Eventually each album was replaced by a CD and every time a swap was made I donated the album to the library. I’m sure most ended up in a dumpster, but maybe others made it to a book sale where another patron discovered music that the library had introduced me to so many decades ago.
Editor’s note: Stace is a fun loving guy. Staff members have reminded me of how he loved April 1—a day to fool us all! I’ll never forget how he led the chase to capture feral cats that were living in the window well of the Main Library. He succeeded, and one cat (Miles) was adopted by Madeline Pratt, another (Henry) by Mary Cominsky. Be sure to read Rubi Sobieski’s memories of Stace and the photo she shares of Stace in “one of his moments!”