Last week the doors swung open to a brand new library in Marshall, Minnesota. Bright, spacious, and--though quiet--teeming with life. A kind of paradise, judging from the beaming faces of patrrons, young and old. As part of the library's grand opening, SMSU History Professor Emeritus and writer Joseph Amato gave a fascinating talk on the "ordinary versus the extraordinary" as viewed through the historical lens of daily life. Refreshments included nn 8-foot long cake in the shape of an open book, complete with a book mark, which you can view at the Marshall Independent story, "This open house takes the cake."
Another Independent story you may want to read, "New library is more than a building, speakers say," gives the full scope of the library open house.
Having spent many delicious hours in libraries in my childhood through graduate school and now at SMSU's McFarland Library, I'm thrilled to have a new public library in town complete with a cozy fireplace, study rooms and all the latest technology.
Now for some more great quotes by writers about libraries:
"I attempted briefly to consecrate myself in the public library, believing every crack in my soul could be chinked with a book."
-Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible"
"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library." -Jane Austen, "Pride & Prejudice"
"The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man." -T.S. Eliot
Reading obviously relates to libraries, and my husband, Jim Zarzana, posted on his website's "The Eclectic Blog" on 11/11/11 an essay titled “All Children Left Behind: The Decline of Reading in Our Lifetime." I encourage you to read it and join in the conversation by leaving a comment.
What is the library like in your town? What do you think the libraries of the future will be like? How important have libraries been in your life? Do you have a favorite library? Do you have a favorite poem, story or essay about a library? I'd love to hear your comments and stories!