It’s nice to see so many people in the library this time of year. It makes perfect sense, though. The library is a great place to spend a chilly, wet afternoon in January.
It’s traditional, or perhaps I should say habitual, with a lot of people I know. In January, the clouds move in, the sun rides low across the sky, the migrating birds are still away. The world is a little more subdued, quiet, contemplative and the place most in sync with that kind of atmosphere is the library.
In January, resolutions are made, people think about their lives and how to fulfill their desires. Big dreams or little, corporate or personal, the library is the place to go to find out about anything you want to do.
Ernest Gallo started his wine company from a recipe he found at his public library. Julie likes to tell a story about an interview she heard on “From the Top,” a radio show that features young classical musicians. Christopher O’Riley asked a self-taught Native American classical guitarist how he learned all the intricate scales. Amused by O’Riley’s naivete, the boy answered, laughing, “The public library.”
Give yourself a little late Christmas gift of time soon and come to the library, wander around, look at books and read. It can change your life.
I’ll never forget a cold, dark January afternoon in 1972 in Midland, Pa. The sky was as charcoal grey as the steel mills that were the horizon of Midland. I was getting a car window replaced and decided to wait in the tiny, shotgun-house sized public library next door.
There was a well-used wooden double door with frosted glass, and about five steps leading up from the entrance to a library room as dingy as the street outside. I walked down the isle, found the poetry section, and in the poetry section found what must have been a first edition of Frank O’Hara’s Collected Poems. I’d never read poems as good as those. I read that book standing in the stacks and then sitting in a battered old stuffed chair that like everything around Midland smelled like coal dust, until the mechanic came to tell me I had to come get my car, they were going home. What can you get at a library? Entranced.
You don’t even have to have a card, but I’m thinking you’ll want one after spending some time here. We’ve got three great programs coming up this week. On Wednesday 2 and 6:30 p.m., Kentucky Picture Show presents a PG-13 2004 romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones about a traveller from an eastern European country who becomes detained at JFK airport when his country’s political situation becomes unstable. He gets a job, he falls in love, he wins a stuffed swordfish in a card game with big-hearted baggage handlers, and he discovers America. You’ll love it. And the popcorn and sodas are free.
On Thursday at noon, Book Lunch starts the New Year off with a cozy, “Cat among the Pigeons” by Agatha Christie. I think this is Christie’s version of “The Women,” but far less absorbed with fashion. It’s a Hercule Poirot mystery without Poirot for most of the book and with one of the most delightful conceits for Poirot’s participation that Christie ever devised. So, brew your favorite “cuppa,” curl up with this great mystery, and then come discuss it with friends over Book Lunch. The library has two copies for checkout, in Mysteries, F Chri. As usual, lunch will be provided — with tea this time. Please remember you must sign up to attend Book Lunch.
Also on Thursday at 3 p.m., reference and outreach librarian Jeff Gurney will show you how to use Microsoft PowerPoint. This beginner’s class will help you expand your presenting skills beyond a poster. You’ll learn the basic formatting tools you need to make your next presentation for school or work dynamic. This class is limited to seven. Please register to attend.
Have a dreamy January.