What's a Library Worth : ~Words Matter~
Rosalind Foley
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What's a Library Worth

by Rosalind Foley on 08/13/15

Someone has said, "A child who reads will be a child who thinks."

Our main library, a dark red brick building with tall, sleek windows, reopened last week after a major overhaul. I haven' t been inside it yet, but I hear it's stunning.

When the building itself was new, one of my sons in high school was involved in a service project to collect new and gently used books to stock the shelves. He will be sixty next year. Time, wear and asbestos made the renovation imperative.

It took a monumental move and five rental properties around the city to stash the library's contents, staff, etc. for the duration. For three years now, several satellite libraries took up some of the slack, while a minimal library functioned downtown in and old five and dime store on what was once  the town's main street. There, although the lighting was dim and the linoleum flooring well worn, the supply of books, genealogical materials, computers, CD and DVDs limited, the longsuffering staff was, as always, helpful in ferreting out what we requested, even something that had been warehoused. There too, lost in their own imaginations, sat cross-legged children reading, seemingly unbothered by the cracked floor.

I'm told that today the revitalized building has a lot more computers and exciting state of the art technology as well as old fashioned books. In the future I imagine the library will offer more e books than hard bound. I think that's fine, but I hope, especially for  children's sake, there will always be books to hold in their hands, real books with covers that invite and  paper to feel  and print to smell, books to make  them dream.


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