A small community with a great library

Every summer, we go off to the north woods of Michigan for a couple of weeks of reading, eating blueberries and cherries, and hiking around.  It is blissful, especially after six weeks of summer reading bedlam.  But every once in awhile, you still need to check in with the world, and these days, that means email.

We make a trek into the local public library and use their computers.  The staff is warm and courteous, and never make us feel like vacationers shouldn’t be taking up their resources.  It’s always a very pleasant trip to make.

While in another even smaller community on the Lake Michigan shore on a short trip this year, we visited another library, just because librarians on vacation find it really hard to pass up peeking at a library.  What a contrast it made!  When you enter the building after climbing the stairs to get to the library, you are greeted with a sign saying, “Please do not leave donations of books.  Our shelf space is very restricted.”  Friendly!

Those shelves?  It’s like taking a trip into my childhood (and maybe my mom’s, too).   Of course they have those Landmark and Childhood of Famous American books, as well as lots of old Bobbsey Twins and many other books the Baby Boomers remember fondly.  But far worse were the nonfiction children’s shelves:

The 400s and 500s

The 400s and 500s

Oh my gosh!  That Boys’ Book of Science and Construction was published in 1958, if I recall correctly.  I especially liked the chapters on atomic science.  Not every community has the money to support a great library, but come on…1958?  So I was especially happy to get back to this wonderful library:

Grayling, Michigan's great library

Grayling, Michigan's great library

At this library, the first science shelf looks like this:

Beginning of the 500s

Beginning of the 500s

I’m just so impressed because this is a beautiful, busy library in a community that is struggling with some economic issues and nothing like the wealth of the community with the library above.  It’s a great resource to the kids and the adults as well, and even their out-of-town visitors.  Kudos to you!

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