Wednesday, October 24, 2012
As a lover of books and someone who (having librarianship qualifications) spent years volunteering and working in school libraries, I’m always delighted to hear good-news stories about libraries prevailing despite local government cutbacks. It came to my attention yesterday that the citizens of Walker’s Point on Lake Muskoka have done something rather amazing – they banded together last year to save their library. With almost 200 members, it is now completely managed and staffed by volunteers.
I’ve treasured these venerable places since I was a child wandering among the silent, lofty corridors of books in our elegant Carnegie library. I know that there were always plenty of other people around, but I have this sense that I was often alone in the slightly dim and mysterious aisles populated with adventure and humour and tragedy, each book waiting to invite you into its world. Was that the mischievous Cat in the Hat peeking around the corner? And surely that was brooding Heathcliff whom I just glimpsed out of the corner of my eye. I loved the weight of the books I was hauling home, excited to climb into them as soon as I could. Just as good, was sitting at the polished tables doing research for a school project, lingering late into the evening in that special place where books were cherished and respected.
So when I was asked by the Walker’s Point Community Library if I would be willing to donate three of my novels I was happy to do so. Honoured, in fact, that they liked the two Muskoka Novels they already had and wanted more. It’s exciting to see your books on a shelf, with the possibility that they will touch the hearts and imaginations of those who choose to delve into them.