Everyday Life at the Library: Amen!

I’m here again. Surrounded by students, mothers, teens, cyclists, tutors and volunteers. I’m at OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA the library and it’s connected to a community college. There is a sign on the door that says no food but I look up and see an open bottle of soda on a table, next to me is a young man eating a sandwich; a volunteer is perched on her seat ready to answer questions with a soft drink nearby.

To be truthful, beside me and out of sight I have a cup of water and a small bag of pretzels to snack on. I think the policy is actually to ignore people who may eat or drink in here as long as they don’t leave a mess.

cds at libraryAcross from me is a student with a pile of books who just answered the cell phone. She is talking quietly (which is nice) and the overall atmosphere is one of study and learning. Laptops are open and the majority of those around me are focused. Ok, she is still talking on the phone and this writer, for one is not liking the sound of her voice anymore – but it is quiet in a library sort of way.

This wing of the library is sunny, comfortable and quiet. The student is off the phone and all is well again. There are 2 group study rooms across from me with the invitation to use the room if you are a group of 2 or more for up to 2 hours. It’s perfect for a student-tutor work session or a group project gatherideep bookshelfng or such.

I am drawn to libraries in a way that;s like coming home. There are books, computers, magazines, music, newspapers, and so many other avenues of learning. I know librarians don’t make much money but I always longed to work in a library.

For me, being in a library is sort of like being in a church. I feel awe and an amazing feeling of gratitude. The fact that I can borrow almost anything in this entire building is so cool. In fact, I can borrow many, many items. And best of all, I can borrow from several different libraries across the state all at once and return them to my local library… sweet, huh?

Strega Nona at libraryI can view new art, listen to authors, play games with other gamers, take my grandson to story hour and take classes on how to use various software products. How wonderful is that? Yes, we all pay taxes for these privileges but how many people actually have a library card and use these services?

And did you know you can download audio books and ebooks to your electronic devices? You don’t even need to visit a library.

For me, going to the library is like Christmas – I walk away with something wonderful, something I didn’t have to buy and something unexpected. It’s not just good, it’s amazing!

Libraries, Lessons and Learning
The Web is my Oyster
The Teacher Within
The Gift of Learning: Just Because
An Awesome Book Haul

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Things …

Consistency: doing something on a regular basis.

Walking: Something I do everyday.marge-anne cold walking day

Mapmywalk.com: Where I record my walks. (If you know of a better one, please share and I’ll check it out!)

Goals: Walking 3.5 miles per day.

Difficulty: walking outside in Upstate NY.

Alternative: Mall walking.

Best Alternative: Return home to Colorado and enjoy 50 degree weather.

Walking goal: 4 miles per day to make up for shorter walking days (due to trip to upstate NY).

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The Power of Choice

I am sitting in a cabin in the Rocky Mountains and when I look to the right the clouds are sitting on the mountains and it looks like a storm is rolling in. When I look to the left the sky is blue and sun is shining on the mountain tops. I like the look of the dreary mountains – and enjoy sitting warm and cozy in this place. But, the sunny side lifts my spirits and reminds me that I’ve got a whole day ahead of me to snowshoe, read, write and enjoy myself.

sunny view dreary view I think we all have the opportunity to choose – to enjoy the day and be grateful for the people that surround us or to wallow in the ‘what if’s’ and ‘if only’ and ‘someday.’ If you are like me you probably know that someday is here right now. It’s not down the road or around the corner – it’s the roof over your head, the clean water flowing from the tap and the ability to see blue skies. It’s a pillow under my head, socks in my drawers and mittens on my hands.

I read a book titled, Me to We by Craig and Marc Kielburger. This book, written by brothers offers us stories of people who looked at a situation and decided to get involved. Whether the situations were child slavery, poverty, abuse or so many others… the writers urged us to act, not just nod our heads. As young children, these brothers saw a reason to make a difference. In doing so, organizations were created, school mates were involved and a difference was made to children living in slavery.

Years ago, I was at a seminar and visited a table filled with books for sale. The book called The Trouble with the Alphabet by Caryn West. While I was standing there reading, I was crying at the stories. They were so real, so painful and so needy that I didn’t know where to turn. Here is an excerpt from the website page:

The Trouble with the Alphabet is unique and powerful. The book illuminates the world’s injustice in a compelling and unforgettable manner. It invites the reader to consider these issues through vibrant portraits illustrating the emotion and vulnerability of each child. It challenges indifference and apathy through poetic messages delivered as if through a child’s eyes; messages that cut through the rhetoric and pierce the heart and soul. It clarifies the issues through short essays that enlighten even the informed. Finally, it involved experts, organizations that provide answers, strategies and at the very least a platform to become a giver, a doer… an activist.

The book highlights 26 different countries, one for each letter of the alphabet. The
countries selected represent the wide range of human rights abuses and injustices that plague the world and prey on the smallest and youngest in society – the children.

Each chapter closes with a respected non-governmental organization working in that
country to provide every reader an opportunity to move from apathy to activism… one reader at a time.

I asked the author how does one help?. Each page described something inhumane, painful or abusive. I asked, where did you start if you wanted to help. The reply was this – Stop Human Trafficking. That will help stop the other pain and injustice.

The lead article in the paper today was about Human Trafficking in Fort Collins, CO. An organization was in the process of building a house where victims can turn for help, phone numbers were included, help is available. So, the next step is education – it’s the greatest weapon to give a child.

I’ve realized that articles, books, people and movements cross my path at the right time. To read a book (Me to We) then to read the morning paper goes hand in hand. What comes next? How can I help? It starts with one person who decides to act.

If you read these books, please tell me what you think… especially The Trouble with the Alphabet. It’s powerful beyond belief!

 

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