The New Britain Public Library was my childhood library. And every Saturday morning my mother would take us there and we'd spend hours getting lost.
One of my favorite memories of going to the library is getting my library card, and the goal was to be able to print my name.
As soon as I found out that that was the secret trick to being able to take out library books, I practiced and practiced, and finally, Mrs. Virginia Smith stood at the desk and gave the form, and I printed my name, and the last letter of Rice, the last "E" dangled off the end of the line, but I got my library card anyway.
When I got to the library I bring anyone that I happen to be with. One comes to mind, my niece, Mia, when she was little we used to go to the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library in Old Lyme, Connecticut. When she was a little older, she painted a whale. An actual whale-sized sculpture to be auctioned off to raise money for the library. A patron bought it and left it in the garden, so Mia's whale is still in the library garden.
Amy Rillinger, who lives in Massachusetts, near the Rhode Island border is a librarians who, although I don't patronize her library often, because I don't live there, we connect on a book level frequently. And she just recently did a program of poetry, teaching poetry, not even teaching it but exposing middle-school students to the idea of loving poetry and expressing their own lives. And she's such an inspiration to me.
I still prefer to do my research in a good reference room. I find a carroll, if there are carrolls in the library, or sit at a reference table and pour through the materials that are there. I find it much deeper and more satisying then just Googling something. And I feel as if the research I do at the library stays with me longer.
Library budget cuts are tragic and so short-sighted. Reading is integral to human development and to goodness and compassion and knowledge. And how better to find that than in the library.
I've written a new novel, "The Silver Boat." It's about three sisters who have to face the fact that there mother has just died and they have to figure out what to do with there beloved family home. It feels like that 's an issue that too many of us have faced, I know I have in my own life.
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