Monday, January 13, 2014

Little Town of Bethlehem...Already on my list for Summer 2014

How do I decide which libraries to visit? After all, there are about 16,000 of them in the USA alone! Sometimes they are on the route of a trip I'm already taking: last summer, 11 days and 25 libraries. Sometimes a a book suggests one, or four: Main Street Public Library. Sometimes I plan a road trip, especially in MN or WI, just to visit a cluster of town libraries: look here for four or five visits clustered on a single date. Sometimes there is a family connection: Batavia, NY, where my Aunt Ruth was Library Director back in the day. And sometimes I read an irresistible story.

I won't visit this library until my summer trip to New Hampshire, but I can't wait to share the story. My sister sent me this link:

Bethlehem, NH, is a small place, population about 2500, in the White Mountains of NH. Their story is amazing. I'll be there and there will be a new post, but probably not until August. I can't wait!

In the meantime, check them out at

Friday, January 3, 2014

But none of them look cozy

I found the post below on Facebook this morning. There are many worthwhile ideas here. There are many beautiful libraries...and some that don't ring my esthetic chimes at all. But there are none that appear to have a cozy circle of comfortable chairs; a flickering fireplace on a cold day; a bright corner with books and toys for the youngest children; programs that bring a community together...

In my opinion, it is the community libraries that meet the needs of a broad range of people that will "save society," not the monumental structures pictured here.

Perhaps I am being unkind. Perhaps there are (at least at some of these) wonderful programs that can't be portrayed in a single photo. And no doubt there are people who find exactly what they need in one of these buildings, something they would not find in a community library. But for me, I'll take a small library with friendly, knowledgeable staff and a cozy place to sit. A view of the natural landscape is a plus. [And of course, inter-library loan is important, too!]