(Since I mention the Lincoln Public Library, you can see this is from my library column in the Lincoln News Messenger.)
As we think about our great and blessed nation on this 4th of July, we also think about our great public library system. Public, not private. Free entrance to all. Free books and free information, with a free library card. All available to every one of us at the Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges.
It was 236 years ago that the men of the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, after some editing of Thomas Jefferson’s writing. Jefferson himself sat silently during the editing process but he wrote that John Adams fought “fearlessly for every word.” As we know, Jefferson’s argument against slavery was taken out. Also cut was his beautiful phrase of regret to King George – “We might have been a free & a great people together...”
Instead, we are a free & a great people as Americans.
Two hundred and thirty-one years ago, in October 1781, the British surrendered at Yorktown and the Revolutionary War was over. (At least the fighting was. The war ended officlally in 1783 when the peace treaty was signed.) Two hundred and twenty-three years ago George Washington was elected our first president. And as we all know, 186 years ago Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the very same day, the 4th of July.
Well, part of the column anyway. Thing is, my library columns are fairly personal in that they relate to the Lincoln, California, public library and may not be of interest to, say, someone in Lincoln, Nebraska.
So here's some info about what Friends of a public library do (at least in Lincoln, CA).
We’ve been talking about what exactly the Friends of the Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges (FOLL) DO for the library. We learned last time that the Friends support several important library programs, and help the library buy books, CDs, and DVDs.
What else do the Friends do? Here are two more examples from a very long list:
Friends’ volunteers help shelve library books; protective-cover donated (like new) books before they are shelved; sort donated books for use in the library or for special sales; maintain the Book Sale shelves in the library; manage and staff the special weekend book sales (move lots of books, organize those books, collect money, etc.); arrange the Family Movie Nights (get the film, make the popcorn, move the chairs, etc.); assist with Mother Goose and our other special programs – and more.
That was one example. Here’s another:
We raise money so we can accomplish all the things on the list. Thank you for YOUR membership, your extra donations, and your time. If you aren’t yet a member, we hope you will become one today. Contact info for FOLL follows this column.
Here’s a patron’s question on a different subject: Who leads the Friends? What are his/her qualifications? What is his/her goal for the Friends? And here’s the answer.
Our FOLL President (name omitted), has had a long and successful career in law and politics, including serving on the staff of three U.S. senators. For some time her office “was right next door to the Roosevelt Room and around the corner from the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room” when she worked in the White House. She also worked as an advocate for a paper products manufacturing and recycling company for 26 years. (name omitted) moved to Lincoln in 2002 and joined the Friends in 2009. She is clearly ultra-qualified to lead the Friends! (When you attend the Friends’ meetings, you will notice how extremely well they are run.)
And what is her goal for the Friends? To keep our library(s) open, viable, and thriving for the Lincoln community.
As is clear to all, we’re in hard economic times in Lincoln. To keep our remaining library viable we need your help. We really need you. Please use the contact information at the end of the column. Thank you.
More about eBooks
If you have a Nook (as I do), or a Kindle, or another form of eBook reader, you can check books out from the library on your e-reader! Lora gave us a short tutorial several columns ago, and if you go to the libraryatlincoln.org site you will see the instructions. Here’s more information:
You can check out a book 24/7 online. You may check out three books at a time. If the book you want is already checked out, you’ll be sent an email when it is available. Your book will automatically expire when the lending period is up. You can’t renew your eBook, but can check it out again. I just looked at the downloadable collection. There are 100 books, and there are a lot of people waiting, so we’ll need to join the queue.
Okay, now I’m going to go check out some books for my Nook. I mean, join the queue.
I'm now writing a library column for the Lincoln (CA) newspaper, as a summer sub for the regular columnist. Following are two recent pieces. Hope I'm successful in getting the word out for libraries, at least to my northern California community! (This is specifically about our Lincoln public library, but just as true for all our school libraries.)
Do kids actually use the library?
Some folks think kids don’t use libraries these days because they’re online all
the time. Do kids still go to the library? What do real kids actually say about
Here are two comments I just received following a school visit in southern California (No, I did not ask them to talk about the library, or even to write me at all. These are purely serendipitous.):
“I am hoping to read all of your books. Thank goodness for the library because my parents would never let me buy so many books!”
“The books are amazing and now they are avalible (sic) in our library to read whenever we want to!”
Aren’t those great? They show so clearly how necessary a library is. “Thank goodness for the library!”
Who grew up with a Carnegie Library?
I was born and raised on the prairie, in Lincoln, Nebraska, and rode my horse to the Lincoln Carnegie Library on the edge of town every week. There I’d fill my saddlebags with books (The Black Stallion, My Friend Flicka – you get the idea) while the librarian in her gray-haired bun looked on. When I was casing the joint exploring this Lincoln to decide on my move from West Los Angeles, I went downtown to Fifth Street and there was my Lincoln, Nebraska, Carnegie Library! An exact replica, same color, same shape, same everything but the horse tethered outside. Our Lincoln (California) Carnegie Library helped me decide to make my life here, and I’m very grateful for it. I haven’t seen a gray-haired bun on our librarians yet, though.
So, who else grew up with a Carnegie Library?