Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I love my library

Last week was National Library Week, but I wanted to share a little bit today about why I love my library so much. I've had a deep love for libraries since I was in early grade school and trouble with my knees kept me out of phy.ed. and working in the library every day. I loved working behind the counter with Mrs. Dickinson and knowing what was in every drawer behind the long checkout desk. When I was in junior high, I checked out the maximum six books at a time and returned two or three times a week. The majority of the books I read now come from my library.

I live in a fairly small town, but it has the largest library in the county (still not saying much, the county's population is under 10,000). Jeanne, the previous library director, always had a kind word and greeted me by name when I came in the door. She taught me how to use the online system which allows me to order books and movies from other libraries and even put holds on items that aren't out yet. I reserved Nanny McPhee on DVD last week Friday, and it won't hit the stores until May. This last weekend my family watched Chicken Little and Memoirs of a Geisha, both of which are new on DVD, and I didn't have to pay for either one. The amount of information contained in one newspaper today is the equivalent of what the average person in the Middle Ages acquired during their entire life. Imagine what's contained in your local library!

When Jeanne retired, she introduced me personally to the new director, Joan. It made me feel like an honored guest or customer. I belong to the Friends association, but I don't make major donations (other than the occasional overdue fine), but at the library there's always a welcome. And Joan too greets me with a smile. She's gone the extra mile to order books for me when I couldn't find them anywhere else. Mia always has more kids' movies to watch than she possibly can, and today she's returning a stuffed shark puppet and will probably bring home a cow puppet (complete with udder, horns, and bell). To her the library is like a big store filled with all the things she loves best: movies, stuffed animals, and books that someone will read to her. Molly, on the days she goes to her father's, curls up in a chair and reads the teen books she doesn't think I would allow her to actually check out (we both pretend not to know). Doogie is not a reader, if the library starts to loan out video games, he'd probably become a huge fan of the institution.

Libraries are one of the things where we can see our tax dollars at work and enjoy the benefits from them. My library allows several groups to use its meetings rooms, has quite a few public computers, and a magazine exchange. Support your local library, and if you haven't been to yours recently, check it out, you might be surprised at the resources available! *stepping off soapbox*

And for my review of the day:

A Dangerous Silence by Catherine Palmer is a multilayered book with lots of great plots. Marah Morgan returns home to the family farm to help care for her ailing father and try to repair their relationship. Judd Hunter shows up looking for work at the same time an archaeological team arrives looking for the remnants of a Native American village on the property. Palmer does an excellent job of slowly feeding the reader just enough information to keep them hooked. The several different plots play out slowly until they start to weave together in a fascinating and frightening way. Sometimes Palmer goes a little overboard on Marah's conversations about faith with Judd: they don't always ring true. When everyone's motives become clear, there is a need to suspend disbelief, but the characters are interesting enough to make it worth the while. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of her works.

I'm currently reading Robert Whitlow's The List. It features a character named Josiah who may learn something from studying King Josiah's life from the Bible. Coincidently, my pastor's sermon on Sunday was about King Josiah. So I'm rereading my notes and waiting to see what message the Lord has for me about Josiah.