“In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends…”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I stumbled upon this quote of Emerson’s, many years ago, and jotted it down – on one of those pieces of paper that people who don’t use tablets or phone lists to record things keep around them. I have a lot of journals and ‘notes to self’ (insert here, scraps of paper) – some were started with great gusto, and then fizzled out; others trudged along, sometimes recording the happiest of days, and sometimes, what felt like the saddest; and there are some, that just hold lists – from quotations or groceries needed, to weather reports and garden ruminations and all things in between….a community library can be like that wonderful treasure trove of found lists: It can hold the secret to your heart’s desire; you can learn to bake a cake or re-wire your house; as a child or as an adult, you can be transported to far-away, exotic lands or make believe places – no matter the size of the library! Be it a large institution with closed stacks and hushed reading rooms, or a small but boisterous meeting space where children take over and adults smiling or frowning, shrug and continue reading the papers – a library is a place where you are surrounded by friends, you may not know the people, but those friends are there. The Library Staff will help you meet those friends, will welcome you in, learn what you like, and help you on your path – to that special something you seek.
Having grown up in a family of ‘readers’ (and writers), I was taught to both enjoy and utilize the library, no matter where I was, for community resources and connections …and of course, for BOOKS! If my town was small, my library could open the doors to the world. My Library would have cutting edge information, and the staff could help me with the most archaic of research question matters, just as easily!
My Library, no matter your age or where you live, city or town, if you use the Library, be it school or public, it is YOUR library, and that is how you refer to it. I have been very fortunate, have had many different ‘library experiences’ in my life – but what I treasure most is not the big, grand public or university libraries where I could access things with a number, as if magic, or just by perusing the stacks or computer files stumble upon ‘the thing’. No, what I treasure most is the sense of place, of friendships, with people and, yes, books and movies that the Quechee & Wilder Libraries provided when I relocated to the area. My dearest Old friends were all still there, as well as new friends – for life! In deed – when I hunted through boxes and felt lonely, disoriented and sad – I could still find my friends…they were there. In Quechee there is something very special about the library. I know this, and so do my dear friends.