211/365 The many faces of Gail Borden

Until I was 12 years old the public library in Elgin was in a huge (to me) old building. Probably starting at age 10, my mom would drop me off at the library on Saturday mornings, I’d scale the steps and enter my very own Wonderland.  I don’t recall how many books we were allowed, but I’d quickly meet that limit and then sit and read the books I’d chosen while my mother ran errands.


The original Gail Borden Library

When I turned 13 the new library was built. It was designed to match the other civic buildings in Elgin. (in other words, ugly) I guess I didn’t care, because I loved it. Mom continued to drop me off while she ran errands on Saturdays. I continued to check out my full limit of books. As I grew older the limit was higher and I borrowed heftier books. I could easily fill a paper grocery bag.

Fun fact: Dean’s mother dropped him and his sister off at the library on Saturdays too while she ran errands, so decades before we met, Dean and I spent many Saturdays in the same buildings.



Second Gail Borden Library

After I left Elgin three more Gail Borden Libraries were built: A huge modern library just down the street from the ugly one. Then two more branches out of town.

In case the name, Gail Bordon, rings a bell the libraries were named after the Gail Borden, the inventor of condensed milk. His stepsons donated a mansion to Elgin for a library but required it be called Gail Borden after their stepfather.

(blew through the word limit again…)