Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm a Child of the Lib'ry...

Here's another "save our libraries" effort...

You can find more information about this at Piers Cawley's blog and feel free to spread it far and wide!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mysterious Paper Sculptures

Have you all seen the amazing book sculptures left in libraries around Edinburgh?  They are really quite stunning.  And such a thoughtful and generous way to show appreciation for these essential institutions.

We get some lovely gifts from our patrons who sometimes bring us flowers or baked goods, and always hand them directly to us and get a big "thanks!".

The things we tend to receive anonymously are more on the weird side.  I swear I heard a story about someone finding teeth in the bookdrop one morning, but when trying to track down the source of that story, no one had heard it but me.  I'm sure I didn't make it up, though! Was it a misguided attempt to contact the tooth fairy?  A late night brawl in parking lot?

I know we've definitely had a kitten put in our bookdrop overnight. Quite the surprise for the morning crew! Fortunately, the kitten was not injured by books coming in on top of it and eventually found a good home.

What fabulous anonymous gifts has your library received? Or, barring that, what's the weirdest thing your library has received?

Friday, September 23, 2011

"There is not such a cradle of democracy on earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration." Andrew Carnegie 1835-1919

This past Monday I traveled from Eugene to Hood River for the SSD Board Meeting at the library there.  What a thrill and privilege it was to visit the Hood River library, recently reopened after a year's closure due to loss of funding.

The library is in the original Carnegie building with an addition built on at a later date.  Taking a brief walk around the building I spotted a delightful sculpture near the trees.  Taller than I it had a small brass plaque identifying it as "Stoniferous Pine" and was made entirely of rocks and flat stones in the shape of a tree.
They were fitted into place with no mortar, held together by their careful, complicated placement.

From the Hood River County Library District's website: "Hood River County's first publicly-funded library opened on September 13, 1912."   "Hood River County Library District recently became a member of the Libraries of Eastern Oregon, LEO, an organization dedicated to helping the many small, rural libraries across Oregon deliver great services to their users." 

The library reopened this July thanks to enthusiastic community support, generous monetary donations, and grants; and thanks to their library Foundation which used imaginative fund raising dinners held in local homes with themes based on books, in addition to their further dedicated efforts to solicit stable funding.  The Hood River library stands as a testament to those grass roots movements that often achieve what bureaucracy can't or won't.