Friday, March 20, 2009

Itty bitty library

I'm spending the night in an ordinary motel down the road toward my destination tomorrow, but this library I stopped at earlier today is no ordinary place.

It used to one one small room. Now it's two, but only because the cafe next door closed, and the library got the kitchen. Townspeople removed the appliances and grease, a man from town laid the new flooring, and the librarian's husband built the new bookshelves. There's a wonderful spirit here, and a love of books and reading. Kudos to librarian Connie Weber and to her smart, funny, lively patrons.

Yesterday, my mom told me about a city where the powers-that-be decided to save money by closing the libraries, but people marched in the streets to protest, and the city backed down. (Does anybody know which city? I can't recall.) Yay, people! When citizens still care about their libraries, there's hope. Not to mention, people NEED libraries more than ever these days, so they can use the computers to look for jobs, or go to check the newspapers, or rediscover the joy of free books, videos, and music.

Even in towns that are really struggling, libraries are alive. In Kansas, alone, there are approximately 330 libraries, isn't that impressive? Guess who has visited ten percent of them since January?


Anonymous said...

Yay that you remembered your camera!

Did you ever imagine that you'd be spending so much time in libraries when you started this crazy career?

I'm going to a writers' meeting tomorrow - at the local library. I even got a library card! The library system seems alive and well around here.

Hope your visits are enjoyable - thanks for taking us with you! You know how I'm spending the weekend...hoops, hoops, and more hoops.

Sleep well! (And hello to those to come.)

katiebird said...

Um? . . . (blankly) 33 libraries since January? I think that deserves a Masters of Library Science.

I love those little neighborhood libraries. I wish we had them around here.


Maria Lima said...

Cool library, Nancy!

I love libraries and librarians so much. People who love books as their living. :)

Off to bed shortly since I have to be up waaaay too early.

Catch you all after!

boran2 said...

What interesting places you've seen, Nancy! Continued happy travels!

I'd love to see a photo of the inside of that library.

When I was young, we had a bookmobile that came around once a week. I would imagine that this library is roughly similar.

FARfetched said...

… except that it doesn't move, right?

Gonna finish this post & go to bed. Mrs. Fetched is dragging me out of bed far earlier than should ever happen on a Saturday.

Paul Lamb said...

I read on another blog that library usage has surged since the economic downturn. It was only anecdotal information, but it warmed the heart to hear.

This reminds me of the old library in Cole Camp, Missouri. It was merely a storefront too. Last time I was through, though, they had built a fine new building a few blocks away because the library obviously was important to the community.

Folks should consider donating their own books the these small-town libraries. It can help build their collection, or the libraries can sell them at the book sales to raise money. I've picked a certain small-town library to support in this way.

AndiF said...

Nancy, I really admire what you're doing and I can only imagine the joy and excitement you've brought to all these towns. I hope the writing gods reward with novles that flow from you like sweet water from an spring-fed creek.

Morning all.

Lisa M said...

I'm thinking a book--Heros of the library or Libraries--the foundation of society, civilization, and dreams.
Nancy--It sounds so soul nurturing to meet these lovers of books and authors.

I think Paul is right about donating books.
I thought one way of promoting the books of our friends is to buy a copy and donate it to the local library. What better way to build their audience.
So instead of keeping books by Maria or Sally or Kimber or any of you published authors on my shelf I would donate them to the library to introduce these wonderful writers to others in my community.
Nancy has 17 books in my library so no intro needed. I have talked her up among friends and my best friend was even reading one of Nancy's book she'd checked out of her library this past weekend.
Interesting marketing strategy. Get them hooked/interested on a writer with a library book and then when they see your name/new book at the book store more likely to buy, or go searching for other books that author has written.

Morning Andi--like your thinking.
Hiking be good. I walked yesterday for the first time in a while. Felt great with the warmer weather and sun.

Maria--You are off for a day of adventure--enjoy!!

Farf--don't over do. Wives can be demanding she says looking in the mirror. During Spring it's easy to get excited working in the yard and then spending days letting muscles recoop.

Beth--Remember to take a walk or touch your toes between games. I'll look forward to hearing about the exciting games.

KB--I hope to get to meet you some time. I so enjoy your enthusiam for what you do. Being a teacher seems to ooze into all parts of my life and thinking. For you, being a librarian seems the same. I considered a Masters of Library Science for a while, but I was half way through my Masters in Counseling which in some ways has some similarities.
Instead I went off the deepend and am becoming a writer. Now that I think about it--time and money wise that librarian idea might have been the easier route.
My hat off to All librarians. Underappreciated and way smarter than we give them credit for.

Boran--I'm thinking being the Bookmobile driver would be a great job.

Waves to all to come.
Sensational Saturday!!

Nancy P said...

Hoops and libraries. . .what a good weekend, Beth. :D I think, darn it, that my games fall during some of my library talks.

Hi, kb, something really lovely happened at the library last Sunday. They named a conference room after me, complete with plaque. I may have shed a tear. I'll tell you all about it when we finally get to have coffee, or maybe bfast (?) when I get back.

Hey, Maria!

Boran, I'll get an inside photo next time.

Nancy P said...

Paul, that's actually what I was doing there yesterday. I'd been there to speak a few weeks ago. This time I went back with books--mostly donated by our wonderful I Love a Mystery Bookstore who gave two boxes of brand new but (very very slightly) damaged books. It was so nice of them.

Thanks, Andi.

Lisa, that's a great idea--to buy a new one and donate it.

Okay, off to the next stop--Kinsley, Ks. There will be something very interesting to show from there. I'm not just guessing--I already know.

olivia said...

LOL Nancy -- I was thinking book too -- Libraries of Small Town Kansas or something like that! Photos and histories and interesting stories about the people who love them ... :) Having a room named after you is so neat ... :-)

Conda V. Douglas said...

Oh my, Nancy, your photo and post remind me so much of the tiny library I grew up in. As a child, I believed it was possible to always read all the books in "your" section while you were that age--I did!

33 libraries?!

Lisa M said...

Your right Nancy. You buy two books, one to read and share with friends and the other to donate to the local library. Spreading that word of mouth which they say is how new authors are made successful these days.

A room named after NANCY!! Man, I'd need a hanky for sure. Well deserved I say. In reality, the books you've written are the mere foundation of your contribution. Over the years, you have taught and nurtured many a budding writer. I'm Proud to be in that lineage. This year you have gone a step further and opened the world of books and writers and made it a personal experience for many students and readers across your state. That is a powerful gift you share.
We at the blog are grateful to be in the bleachers able to share the fun with you.
Keep the stories and pictures coming!!

bono said...

Wow, that is so cool that they named a room after you! A rare honor for a living author! (I think) Congratulations, lady!

Amen to what Lisa just said. Feeling so fortunate to be able to sit on the sidelines and cheer for all you writers and photographers.

Yup, perfect day for working in the yard with the temps in the 40's and no precipitation. Yard prep is hard work. lol

Word on the streets here is that Cleveland State upset Wake Forest. I guess that's a good thing? ;-) Unfortunately my Buckeyes didn't fair as well. :-/ Enjoy your b-ball, Beth. Hope your teams do well.

Hope everyone enjoys the weekend.

Sally said...

I want to be in that itty bitty library. I am missing you here for the hoops marathon, but suspect that you are doing far better things--you who has a library conference room named after her! I can't wait to go in and visit it, and say 'well, I happen to know the person behind this plaque.' Today I was in Costco and someone was talking about Nancy Pickard and the Kansas books program. Yes, Costco!
May the wind be at your back.

Connie said...

Nancy should know that Richmond Public Library loves her!!

Nancy P said...

Hi, Oliva! Hi, Conda! Hi, bono!

Thanks, guys. Happy grin.

Sally. . .Costco???? You'll have to tell me the whole story.

Connie! I'm so glad you dropped by to see your library! Everybody? Meet Connie Weber. Connie, meet everybody.

Anonymous said...

Hi Connie! Welcome! Stick around - we're a crazy bunch, but very lovable.....

(waving to Nancy)

My bracket is a disaster, but at least all of MY teams won today! Now if I could just convince this cold not to stick around for very long....

Night all!