Tales from Library Land

When I was vacuuming tiny gold stars from the library’s rug yesterday, in the hour when the tired after school kids were getting picked up and before the adult readers appeared, I noticed the carpet, hard-worn when I arrived as the sole employee, was even more shabby. A splotch of yellow paint, snips of pink yarn, dog hair that perpetually sloughs off a few small patrons. The carpet has been used by all sizes of feet.

The walls are covered with kid art, colored paper chains hang from the ceiling, donations for the pie breakfast book sale line the walls.

Although I was so tired I considered lying down on the floor before the reading group, the adults arrived with incredible enthusiasm. The kids made popcorn and kicked a soccer ball in the other room, with a strange sound like someone banging her head against a wall I (futilely) tried to ignore.

I heated water for tea. What do goals mean in a lifetime, anyway?

Here’s one of mine: heat water for a thousand cups of tea in this one-room library.

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.

— Jorge Luis Borges

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Craftsbury, Vermont

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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