“THAT HOMETOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY…”

book coverLibrary means a collection in the truest sense of that word: the printed and the people kind you’ll find in your hometown public library. Regrettably, some people know nothing of libraries, public or otherwise, because they are denied access to such splendor.

Public libraries smell of ink and dust covers and titles and tomes and antiquity. There is connectivity when a small boy asks a librarian: “Where are the dinosaur books?” Young girls, well they mostly pick a title printed in a light lavender color.

Some readers may remember The Music Man when a group of busy-body town ladies share with Professor Harold Hill that Marian the Librarian advocates dirty books. All important, and in turn, they spit out… “Chaucer!” “Rabelais!” “Balzac!” (Song: “Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little”). In a different scene that takes place in the Library, Professor Hill sings to Marian: “…it’s a long-lost cause I could never win, for the civilized world that accepts as an unforgivable sin, any talking out loud with any librarian…” But, that was then and this is now.

I have a question: Do computers and iPads/Kindles and social media and a fast-moving society hinder the illumination of the local public library in your hometown?  Pause… What if we climb aboard that bandwagon too quickly? Because, in all actuality, public libraries may be the last bastion to access, freely, our confidential choice of whatever we choose to read.

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