It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Todays subject: Libraries

I posted sometime ago about my re-discovery of the public library, An Old Friend .   This week I had the pleasure of touring the New York Public Library in a virtual way. 
I’ve shared before that I enjoy reading a blog about preservation efforts in Mississippi.  Thanks to this blog I recently spent my lunch break in the New York Public Library, Mississippi's Connection to the New York Public Library.  The link in the post to tour the stacks almost takes you right into the library, so to speak!  I really felt like I had been there and had to really pull myself back into reality!  I could just imagine going in there and spending an afternoon exploring the library and requesting research materials be brought up out of the stacks.  I was intrigued with the design of the stacks and with the pictures of the old card catalogs. I was reminded that I still miss them dearly although I know the computer is much more efficient.  I would love to have one to put in my sewing room as a reminder of a simpler time.
As I was still dreaming of an afternoon in a beautiful library I remembered that on my last trip to Boston I had visited their public library’s Copley Square central location, Boston Public Library History .  After the New England tour was over I spent two additional nights in Boston so I could have a full day to tour Boston on my own.  My day was carefully planned. By the time I got to the library it was already mid-afternoon so I knew that I had to keep moving or I would not make it to all my stops.   I made a quick trip through the library and I only made this one picture of the Chavannes Gallery. 
They don't build them like this anymore, do they?
I tried to explore a little but didn’t want linger too long (to be honest something about the area where I was creeped me out, not sure why unless it was the realistic mythology creatures lurking on every wall!).      If I ever get back to Boston I would definitely like to take one of their library tours so I could get into the actual library.  Just to note, the BPL was the first library to allow patrons to borrow books and the first library to implement the branch system.
My third library to mention here is the A.K. Smiley Library in Redlands, California,  Smiley Library.   I remember this beautiful library from the years my family lived in Redlands.  I wish I could recall more details; I know I visited the library many, many times.  I do remember the arches and the front entrance as well as it being a grand, old building with the traditional library tables.  It was a very "inviting" place that made you just want to come in and read! The pictures on their website seem to indicate to me that the library may have had some restoration done in the past 43 years since it appears to be in pristine condition. 
I include it here because, due to the current financial situation, the City of Redlands has had to cut off their funding for purchases of new books, periodicals, and audiovisual materials.  New purchases can only be made with funds from their endowment, the Friends of the Library group or through private donations.  How sad that funds have to be cut for something so important to our society.  This library was established in 1894 and the building dedicated in 1898.  I am grateful for this beautiful library that had an influence on my love of reading.

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