Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ode to the Walpole Library

by Vicki Doudera

It was a Thursday night ritual.

As soon as dinner ended, my Dad and I would gather our books and then hop in the car and drive ten minutes or so to neighboring Walpole, one of those old Massachusetts towns with white colonial homes encircling a big village green dating from 1659 or so. We'd park on Common Street and climb the granite steps to the Walpole Library, where we'd both plunk our books on the portion of the desk marked "returns" and then head off into the stacks.

StackOfBooks_000An hour or so later we'd meet at the main desk, our new stacks of books in hand. My father was a fan of glossy art books with beautiful covers, self-help books, and the occasional biography.  I loved mysteries, biographies, and whatever happened to strike my fancy. That's the feeling I remember most about those Thursday nights: the sense that I was free to choose any book in the building, take it home, and enter its world. Back then, I loved wandering the long rows of shelves, opening titles at random, and reading. Sometimes I became so engrossed that I'd sit right down on the floor. You want to know a secret? I still do, although now I'm up in Maine, at the Camden Public Library.

Last month, residents of Walpole dedicated a brand spanking new Library on School Street. According to the Walpole Times, it’s a "green building," with an outdoor garden, a water conservation feature and green roof on top of the first floor. The green roof has low-growing turf that requires next to no maintenance and acts as an insulator for the community room below.

There's a new "Walpole Room" for local history buffs, a children's program room, plenty of meeting space, and local art is displayed in the lobby of the School Street entrance. One of these days, I will stop in and check it out.

April 8-14 is National Library Week.Take a moment to tell us about the library that made an impact on you.

Realtor Vicki Doudera uses high-stakes real estate as the setting for a suspenseful series starring crime-solving, deal-making agent Darby Farr. Just released is DEADLY OFFER, which takes Darby to a winery where murder, mayhem, and Merlot all mingle. As in KILLER LISTING and A HOUSE TO DIE FOR, Darby discovers a dangerous truth: real estate means real trouble. Read more about the Darby Farr Mystery Series and Vicki at her website, www.vickidoudera.com


Robin Allen said...

As a kid, I didn't go to libraries for some reason. But when I moved to my current community a few years ago, I became very active with the library. I go there two or three times a week, I volunteer, I'm friends with all the librarians, and they support me as an author.

It's sad to see to many patrons using the library only for internet access and DVDs, but thank goodness they don't outweigh the number of people checking out books.

Beth Groundwater said...

So, Vicki, how's the floor of the new library? Is it comfortable to hunker down on with a book pulled off the shelf? ;-)

My mother established a family ritual of a once-a-week trip to the base library of whatever USAF base we were living on at the time, and every week I would check out the maximum number of books I was allowed--and read them all!

Kathleen Ernst said...

Libraries have always been a big part of my life. At one point, when I was a kid, we walked to a bookmobile that came to our neighborhood once a week. Thanks for celebrating libraries!

Shannon Baker said...

Because of the fond memories of my own childhood library visits, I carried it on with my daughters. Our dinky library had two shelves of picture books and I'd sit on the floor while my girls pulled out books. Not much variety so we'd take the same books home multiple times. They loved it, but I probably loved it more. Thanks for making me think of that sweet memory.


I have a different library story from my childhood. When I was in first grade, my teacher called my mother in to school and told her to stop letting me take books out of the library because I was getting too far ahead of the other students in reading.

Vicki Doudera said...

How great to hear all of your library stories. I know we've just touched the tip of the iceberg. (Like, who has ever made out in a library?)