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These days I’ve discovered I’m phenomenally grateful for the state library listserv. An email sent with the subject line What’s happening in your town? opened a flurry of communication.

Librarians, like so many people, have an innate desire to please. Want a book? We’ll get it. Have a problem? We’ll solve it.

Innumerable emails have debated the merits of closing libraries, first, then of leaving books out. No one seems concerned about theft or loss. The concern is, obviously, disease. How can you leave free books on the library’s porch and not expect a few loyal (and likely elderly) patrons to shuffle through those? The library is a place of congregation and chat. How do we suddenly shut that down? Close our doors and ask you not to come? And yet, we are.  I read:

Our town library has been closed to the public for two days. Staff is now being sent home to ride out the storm.

Be well and we’ll see you soon.

We’ll leave the wi-fi on for you.
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Last night, walking in the dark around empty Hardwick, we wandered by the melting ice rink. Hardwick, VT, Day 4

 

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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5 Responses to Home

  1. So sad, and so necessary! Our library is closed too, and it provides so much more than just books. “This too shall pass,” mom drummed into me.

  2. I use ListenUpVermont regularly for audiobooks while I work in the studio. I love it. But I dislike reading ebooks. I’m sad I didn’t get more library books before the shutdown, but we’re planning a neighborhood book swap on Sunday. Local library!

  3. I also feel obligated to write that there’s been significant concern among librarians about how long the coronavirus lives on paper, with no definitive answer. I understand the impetus for a book swap, but I would caution that you might want to reconsider, especially given the elderly age of many Vermont readers.

    Many libraries have opted to remove their external free books, for that reason, and to discourage congregating.

    Not cheery news…. I know.

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