Ranger Kathryn's Arches

September 12, 2011

Love your library. Please.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 4:56 pm
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It slipped out casually as I walked with a visitor from India: the two things he admired most about America were national parks and public libraries.

The first I expected; the second surprised me.

He described his public libraries in India as sorry collections of old damaged books, for which the borrower pays to use. His delight at finding free book-borrowing privileges was obvious. It made me stop and think about what we take for granted: good information at our fingertips at no cost, reference materials free for the using, and all this usually in pleasant attractive surroundings.

Grand County Public Library, Moab, Utah. Many people arrive by bicycle.

Our local library in Moab is a wonder to behold. A few years ago it won the “Best Small Library in America” award, for reasons that are immediately apparent to even a casual observer. I rely on it for everything from free Wi-Fi to books on CD for trips, and all the staff know me by sight and by my sparkly shoes. Heck, you can even check out a laptop for on-site use if you have a library card! Take this building away from Moab and the little town would be diminished inexpressibly.

Thank your local librarian today, will you? And here’s a shout-out to my dear mother, who has taken on the responsibility of organizing and cataloguing the decades of donated books in her retirement community’s library. May all your Dewey Decimals be in order!

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