MEET ME IN THE STACKS. CHATTING ENCOURAGED.

Ever notice how some folks wrinkle their noses in perceptible scorn when the talk turns to libraries?  They’re convinced that the spirit of the printed page is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage.

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Everyone loves to paratweet The Bard.

 

Will you and I seek wisdom only in the cloud? Will libraries come to an end, like fins on cars and tubes in TVs?  Will we remember the fabled church-like hush and what exactly those shelves were for?

 

 

I see libraries as powerful agents of community change. I don’t worry about them anymore.

 

 

I’m confident that we will still have buildings filled with print. And large public tables. And couches.

Libraries are vibrant hubs of comfortable, collaborative spaces. And full of services that aren’t limited to the virtual and physical walls of the building.

 

We are part of a society that consumes and spreads knowledge while socializing. And our libraries reflect this.  Libraries today are about what they do for us.  They are idea stores, not book warehouses.

You want weapons? We’re in a library. Books are the best weapons in the world. This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!

~Doctor Who, “Tooth and Claw,” Season 2

 

Libraries aren’t just places for quiet study but creative and engaging community centers where people meet. There’s plenty of chatter in the stacks.  And it’s encouraged.  Oh, the bookmarks? They’re still free.

 

The slap-honest truth about libraries is that we need them. For study. For solitude. For human connection. For answering Big Questions.  And little ones.

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The power of my library, and yours, is the conversation it inspires ~ between books and readers, children and parents, us and the collective world. Seems to me that libraries have less to do with clouds than connecting. My library and its staff is thriving, energized, enthusiastic, and ever so valued.  And they make us, patrons and volunteers, feel the same way.

 

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Library attendance and use is cloud-piercing. How-to manuals and health magazines, audio books and antique guides, Bibles and biographies ~ my librarians stamp out so many books in a week, their hands blister. (OK, so my nostalgia is showing. That’s one for #TBT. I miss that stamp, don’t you?)

 

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Index cards? Not so much. Not even here, in this lion-guarded haven.

 

 

 

Libraries feed our passion for information and self-improvement.enhanced-buzz-wide-19609-1388669893-18

 

So be aware of what’s happening to them, just when we need them most. They’re easy targets for local budget cuts, duck soup compared to potholes, pipes, and high school marching bands.  I’m thinking that it’s because what libraries give us is so intangible. How do you measure the worth of what someone gets from a book?

 

 

So, next time you’re at the library, borrow a book of recipes. Whip up something to share~ bagels or biscuits, brioche or baguettes, a pie or a pancake.

Blow off the cloud

and make a connection.

Toni 4/21/18

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LIBRARY LUST

Paris Phillips Photography

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These days the spirit of the printed page is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage. I wonder about libraries. Will we still have buildings filled with print? Or will we seek e-wisdom only in the cloud? Will libraries come to an end, like fins on cars and tubes in TVs?

…..

……..

The slap-honest truth about libraries is that we need them. For study. For solitude. For human connection.

The power of my library, and yours, is the conversation it inspires ~ between books and readers, children and parents, us and the collective world. Seems to me that libraries have very little to do with clouds and everything to do with connecting.

Library attendance and use is way up. How-to manuals and health magazines, audio books and antique guides, Bibles and biographies ~ my librarians stamp out so many books in a week, their hands blister.

Libraries feed our passion for information and self-improvement. But look what’s happening to them, just when we need them most. They’re easy targets for local budget cuts, duck soup compared to potholes, pipes and high school marching bands. I’m thinking that it’s because what libraries give us is so intangible. How do you measure the worth of what someone gets from a book?

……….

Michelle Gardella Photography

A book can be life-changing. Google it and see for yourself. When I was teaching, I’d put a book in a kid’s hands and be so crazy-excited for them. I hoped that maybe, just maybe, this might be the book that changed their life.

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And sometimes, when we sat and talked about it, I’d see a kind of light come on in their eyes. It didn’t happen every day…or to every kid, but …when it did….

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So, next time you’re at the library, borrow a book of recipes. Bake a batch of scones to share. Blow off the cloud and make a connection.

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Toni 5/22/11

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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MY LIBRARY

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It’s open 6 days a week, staffed by absurdly great people.


There are scads of magazines, journals, and newspapers and a fireplace to gather around.


It’s named after Licia and Mason Beekley, generous donors to whom I am forever grateful.


There’s an art gallery of local students‘ work that changes regularly.


CDs and audio books are convenient to headphones and wingback chairs.


There’s an eclectic concert series with wine and cheese, up-close-and- personal evenings with nationally-known musicians.


Poet Arlene Jones donated her continental-shelf sized library of signed works.


There’s two pianos to play and lots of dulcimers to borrow.


It has computers,printers and a copy machine.


The children’s room offers a variety of materials for kids and parents, a play area, story hour and programs.


Chess games on the tables invite players of all ages.


I can have coffee and biscotti while I flip through the glossy pages of Yankee Magazine or Martha Stewart Living. (I hear you can even drink cocoa in the carrels.)


There’s plenty of DVDs—from The Wire to The Hangover to Casablanca ~  as well as a fine collection of foreign films.


You can get help with research and questions ~ in person at the desk, by email, or phone.


Audio books come in three formats—tapes, CD and Playaways.


Small rooms offer quiet spaces to study.


The library has passes for area museums, workshops, author visits, speakers and programs.


I love the soothing chimes from the grandfather clock as I wander willy-nilly among the shelves or work as a volunteer.


The busy volunteer groups put out the welcome mat for me. There’s a group for whatever interests you.

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The library’s gardens please the eye in every season. Garden volunteers adopt a section. Above is mine.


There’s a small but growing collection of graphic novels.


Suggestions for books and DVDs to purchase are always welcome. Encouraged, even.  And then, there they are, on the shelves.


Oh, and bookmarks are free.   🙂