Friday, December 12, 2008

A Friend Indeed

As I write this our catalog system is down. We can't check books out, receive fines, renew materials, tell our patrons what books we do and don't have in, catalog new materials, among many other functions that are a part of running our library.

That is, we can't check them out by computer. We're checking out materials by hand, but we'll need to enter the data into the system, once Randy Witlicki is finished with it.

Also as I write this, I see Randy, one of NPL's best friends, hard at work on restoring this vital part of NPL.

Part of my job is coordinating the services of volunteers. Many of the volunteers predate me, Randy included.

Randy's pretty fascinating. Where did he come from? He reminds me of the Lone Ranger without the mask: appearing out of nowhere to do good for others. He has the habit of popping up when you need him the most, as he has done --yet again-- today.

Randy has a business, I know. He bails out lots of people in a refreshingly nongovernmental way. (Don't run up a billion dollar deficit, though...) He does very well, I am sure, because he's the Real Deal. His skill is enormous, his heart warm, and his humor rich. He's as reliable as June 21 daylight is long.You couldn't do better than to hire this guy to keep your systems healthy and happy.

But for some reason, Randy is the ultimate techie volunteer. We could never afford the many ministrations he gives to us.

I am constantly amazed by the loyalties our volunteers offer to our library. It's about the place the library has --and should have-- in the community. You help the library, you help lots of people by association. That's the thinking. It's certainly what we hope to be all about as a library--to be a great resource to the community.

It didn't take a phone call to bring Randy to us; he just knew to come. He's uncanny that way.

What a guy. What a gift.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Knock-Your-Socks-Off Altered Books

OMG, as the kids would say, but they're beautiful.

I'm talking about the Altered Books contributed by Upper Valley artists that continue to make their way to the library.

It's always interesting to see what an individualistic yet visionary cohort like artists will do when presented with a common challenge, in this case the re-creation of a book that might otherwise end up in a recycling bin.

This creation to the left comes from Mary Danko. A Book Has Heart is a moving tribute, and no small mirror of the warm and expansive heart of the artist. The lucky successful bidder will explore the heart of many of the things we love, and will have an object to treasure and share.

Consider, also, the beautifully crafted Carmina Ma, created by Kathy Cadow Parsonnet. This whimsical figure comes with her genesis, an accordian book wrapped in a little Funk & Wagnall's Encyclopedia, as gently witty as Carmina herself.

Among the many miracles are this, The Perfect Lady, by Jane Trigere. Remember those manners, morals, and basic skills books of perfect ladyhood? I still have a sister volume, Perfect Womanhood, from my grandmother's library. She, however, is
pretty beat up and could use a serious makeover. Jane has done the work on her Perfect Lady, and elegantly formed sausage curls cascade from beneath her elegant chapeau. Better yet, the Lady comes upon her own pedestal the better to be admired by the fortunate lady or gentlemen who offers her a home.

How about the book as furniture? Consider this
nicely crafted effort by Tracy Smith, eloquently titled SIT. It's as attractive as it is witty. (It's currently on display at Helium Shoes, one of our sponsors, in Hanover).

These are just a few of the more than 30 offerings for auction on November 20. Do stop by the display cases at NPL's entrance for a preview, as well as at participating sponsors Canoe Club, Helium, and the Norwich Book Store. Then if finances and circumstances permit, join us at what should be a delightful gala for a one-of-a-kind purchase, either just in time for the holidays, or for your personal collection of creative celebrations.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Celebrating Beth Reynolds

That Beth.

I arrived one recent Saturday morning to find the remnants of her Friday night Read-a-thon-Sleepover... children in their jammies who'd stayed up all night to read a designated number of pages in exchange for some pledges, the better to help purchase more books for the Children's Room.

Beth Reynolds, NPL's amazing children's librarian, had been up all night with them, literate little maniacs that they are, steaming through a hot release, Brinsingr, by Christopher Paolini (no, that title isn't misspelled, but it sure looks funny). It's one of those huge hardcovers that looks as if it's for the big kids, but there they were, some of them close to polishing it off in a night. Her sidekick and assistant Peggy Ramel was right there with her, cheering the children on, helping to serve the treats, vacuuming the
room once everybody had gone home.

This morning as I tapped away at my paperwork, I could hear Beth with much younger children (infants to 3 years) singing away at Wordplay, her weekly story time for them. I couldn't stop thinking about how very fortunate they were, and how lucky the rest of us are, for her ability to
bring children together of all ages to create communities of young readers who can share the excitement of good books with one another.

A nanny who was new to the area came in to inquire about our story times today. "Are they structured?" she asked. Apparently she'd been to another library where all the kids did was to color.

I thought of Beth's storytimes, which are rich in oral language--songs,
poems, finger plays. Good picture books read aloud with interpretation and enthusiasm. Friday's Lunch at the Library, for slightly older children (ages 3-6), a time of stories and crafts, each activity as lovingly prepared as a lesson plan, only without the pop quiz.

I nearly forgot the Friday afternoon group, Knit Happens (used to be Chicks with Sticks), a merry band of girls and women from the community turning out comfort dolls for children in Darfur, warm hats for kids in Afghanistan, and now tiny clothes for premature babies for the March of Dimes. Beth doesn't miss a trick.

NPL is blessed indeed to have this talented young woman, all hard work and inspiration, showing our community's children just how exciting a good book and good effort can be.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Hang-Glide of Inter-library Loan

It's a system patrons used more than 500 times at NPL in the last year, and demand is on the rise.

That is, NPL patrons borrowed books from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan. Correspondingly, more than 500 patrons from other libraries borrowed books from NPL. The system, librarians from here and elsewhere, makes the relevance of the small, local library possible.

At NPL the process starts with a patron request. We scour our own catalog first, just to make sure that the book is indeed not a part of our collection, and then ask whether the patron would like for us to find it through ILL.

"Us" is actually Lisa Milchman, our ILL goddess (my term, not hers), and she performs this job masterfully. Lisa double-checks our collection, gathers more request information from a couple of data bases, which include entries from all registered public, school, and college libraries, and begins the process of tracking the book down. She then takes to the telephone or email to make her request and gets information on the book's availability.

"About 90 per cent of our requests can be filled from somewhere in the
state of Vermont," says Lisa. The other 10 per cent will either come from out of state (recently from as far as Kansas and California) or ultimately be unavailable. It's the rare book that's unavailable.

Timing does play a key role, however. Books that have been in a library's collection for only three to six months can be in such demand at the home library as to be unavailable for interlibrary loan. In that case, some waiting is advised.

Once books are located and permission for the loan is granted by the sending library, the U.S. Postal Service steps into the picture. A book of average size costs about $2.25 to mail at the library/media rate. Books circulate for two weeks, with renewal possible, though not always. Renewal depends on the demand, or lack of it, at the home library. If a patron has requested it there, home it must go. It's best to call or email Lisa a couple of days in advance of the due date to request renewal so that she has time to contact the sending library. Fines for overdue ILL books are comparatively high, 50 cent a day, to underscore the importance that NPL places on holding up its end of the borrowing bargain.

There have been some recent bumps on the road to interlibrary loan efficiency. One is an increasing number of overdue books. "Interlibrary loans operate on a basis of good faith," Lisa explains. "We're trying to get back a book right now that was lent to us months ago, an older, somewhat rare book. We can't even contact the patron anymore. It's probably going to cost us about $50 to replace, and there's the feeling that we've let the
sending library down."

Another of Lisa's druthers is that patrons who have found alternate means of getting a book they've requested would let her know by phone or email that they no longer need the interlibrary loan. "We don't mind the actual cost of a book that someone's going to use, but we'd rather not lay out the cost for something that nobody will pick up."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Altered Books: What to Make of a Diminished Thing

As we pursue sustainability in its many forms, there's something comforting about the development of the altered book art form.

Books, after all, deserve long lives. A friend of mine who has authored several major non fiction titles, told me about the fate of many remaindered books whose publishers haven't the space to store them: the dreaded shredder.

I am reassured, therefore, by the emergence of the altered book.

Taking books that might otherwise be consigned to the landfill, artists are creating new art objects from old titles, sometimes commenting artistically upon their subjects or themes. Take this artist's re-make of Whitman's Leaves of Grass; its blades are the lush lines of the poem, sprouting anew from the volume.

This emerging art form is the stuff of NPL's fall fund raiser, Uncovered. An impressive array of Vermont artists and writers have undertaken book
alterations of their own. In November, amid glittery celebrations, they will be auctioned off.

Approaches to the alterations of books are as varied as the artists and the
books themselves.

This is a form that is in the process of taking off. Go here to see the work of artists who work in this medium.

It's going to be fun to see what our local artists come up with.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Beauty of a Waterfall

What nicer surname could there be than Waterfall? What nicer Waterfall than Cornelia?

It's fitting that Cornelia's area of dedication at NPL is watering our many plants, and thank the heavens that she is here. Before she came, we did our best to remember the green friends that lend beauty and oxygen to our dailiness, but we weren't always as attentive as we could have been. The arrival of
Cornelia meant a level of attention that we just hadn't mustered before.

It's also fitting that this angel of aquarian attention should be the creator of a garden that's just a pebble's toss away from NPL. Cornelia lives right behind us in Norwich Senior Housing, and she's created an island of beauty in front of her apartment there. I stopped by recently to drop off some plants and to view her progress thus far.

There I saw a stone bench nestled at the foot of a tree, surrounded by
primrose, hostas, and Solomon's seal. There were sculptures among the forget-me-nots that reminded me of three members of a singing group, their voices raised in a doo-wop classic--or was it the Hallelujah Chorus? A soaring spiral rose in spotlighted shade.

Cornelia, who hails from upper New York state, fashioned gardens on her ten acres, linking the "rooms" of her garden with winding paths. After she arrived in Norwich, it was only a matter of time till she would create her special brand of beauty here.

Cornelia has the artist's eye. She can combine the beauty of flowers with
the whimsy of discovered objects. She reminds me of people who collect "found" poems.

I freely confess that these pictures of Cornelia's garden are already dated. Hers is a work in progress, and after all, it's spring. She's added lots of plants since I pedaled by on my bike a couple of weeks ago.

Having Cornelia walk into NPL is like getting a shot of vitamin B. Her ongoing enthusiasm and the wit of her observations enrich our days.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Volunteer Spotlight: God's (Latest) Gift to NPL

There's a spark of the divine in NPL volunteers--they're giving the most precious gift anyone can give: their time.

For Kenneth Cracknell and Susan White, pursuit of the divine has been a full-time job: they're theologians.

They have authored boxfuls of books individually and together: he on interfaith dialogue, she on women and worship, they on the history of Methodism, among their many topics and titles. Kenneth was the head of interfaith dialogue for the British Council of Churches. Their theological pursuits seem to be more about the search for unifying truths than rationales for narrow doctrine.

Nearly two years ago the two decamped from their last full-time gig at a Texas divinity school to head to Norwich, where they immediately rolled up their sleeves to give their time to a variety of community causes. Both came right in and volunteered at the library. In addition, Susan sings in the choir and is a deacon at the Norwich Congregational Church. She role-plays patients with a variety of disorders and dysfunctions to students at Dartmouth Medical School. Kenneth runs a fascinating and well-attended theology study group from their home, for which Susan bakes a variety of decadent desserts and chimes in as the spirit moves her. He's taught classes on religion for the ILEAD program at Dartmouth. He's treasurer of the Friends of the Library.

And those are just the commitments that I know about. God only knows (pun intended) what else these two are up to.

For two people relatively new to the community, their familiarity with NPL patrons is extraordinary. They make me think of my own mama's conviction: there's hardly any such thing as a stranger. They are as warm as they are wise.

If I didn't know Whom to thank for such bright lights before, I have a pretty good idea now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's the Lost and Found Fashion Show!

Ours is a community of plenty in a land of the same name. So it's inevitable that some of the largesse of our town will wash up on the banks of NPL.

Our lost and found basket overfloweth.

I am old enough to have had a mother who grew up in the Great Depression. Whenever I misplaced a jacket she hounded me until I tracked it down. To her consternation, there was one car coat that eluded recapture. (I am old enough to have had a car coat, too.)

Recently we decided to hold a Lost and Found Fashion Show of Wayward Apparel for this blog in order to post images of the treasures that overpopulate the basket behind the circulation desk. We recruited Micheline Lyons, because every fashion show, however humble, should
feature a glamorous French woman. At the top she, Sue Bridge, and Lisa Milchman are modeling some of the exquisite chapeaux we offer for reunion with their owners.

Hats are especially abundant in this year's L&F collection. Here Lisa Milchman, fearless leader Lucinda Walker, Micheline and Sue model additional options. I tried to stack bicycle helmets on top of one another To Make a Point (subtlety has never been a virtue of mine), but they tumbled
off, so here are Lucinda and Lisa, with Sue Bridge lurking in the background, playing the parts of Lands End-type tourists to highlight the bicycle helmets, hats and gloves available to today's trendy outdoor enthusiasts. (The pink camera is part of the collection, too. Is it yours?)

Not only are hats, gloves, jackets, and a single pair of children's snow pants awaiting you, but books and toys grace the basket as well. It's no accident that several images from our photo shoot feature Lisa thoroughly absorbed in a book left behind by what
must have been a particularly philosophical child.

Lisa has never been one to shrink from life's Big Questions, so it was no surprise that she should immerse herself in Who Lives in the Pond? a book as padded in presentation as profound in inquiry. Who, indeed, lives in the pond? And under what auspices, hmmm?

I don't suppose that this is the season for noticing that winter hats are missing, but we do reach out and hope that some parents who are reincarnations of my own waste-not, want-not mama will drop by and relieve us of a few of our treasures.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Sweetness of Spring

That we are all ready for warm weather, sunny skies, and brilliant blooms goes (almost) without saying.

But there are other pleasures of spring, some of which come through the chores of the season.

Last week the kindergarteners from Marion Cross School descended upon us, rakes in hand,
to assist with spring clean-up. Out went all the leftover leaves, fallen branches, and other detritus of winter. In came the sweet spirits that seem to run on limitless energy and delight in small things.

The children work mostly in the back yard of
the library, a place that we adults don't see often enough. Just peeking in on them reminds us of why school kids enjoy the area so much on sunnier days.

Spring clean-up is an annual tradition that bridges the library with the school community. We appreciate and enjoy it immensely!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Illimitable Isabella

I've been bracing myself for it all year--Isabella Lubin's high school graduation.

Isabella's been volunteering here since the summer before her freshman year. She was helping her mother, who was involved with the activities of the Friends of the Library, and ended up volunteering a Saturday a month as well. She's been a regular since then, seldom missing her shift, with the exception of a Saturday spent taking her SATs, and we've been impressed by her maturity and reliability and delighted by her wit, intelligence, and charm.

Isabella's our youngest volunteer at the circulation desk. She's made our software do things that it didn't even know it could do in order to serve patrons with special needs or questions. One ghastly Saturday we had a burst pipe and a flood downstairs, and Isabella calmly ran the desk while the rest of us dashed around moving books and vacuuming up water. It was so comforting to have a real pro on the desk while we dealt with all the emergencies that go with water in the wrong place.

Now Isabella is just a couple of months from graduation, and she will follow older sister Emma to MIT. She loves biology and thinks that her major will probably be in that subject, but she knows that there will be programs there that she may well have never heard of to compete for her attention. She's had after school and summer jobs in biology labs here in the Upper Valley and will doubtless bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to her next level of education. She's low key and unassuming, yet she's a candidate in the Presidential Scholars program, one of the highest honors available to high school students.

I'm going to miss Isabella. She's more fun than I can put into words. She sure deserves the honor of the MIT acceptance, and we all wish her well and will send her off with our thanks. Her time has been a true gift, and we're grateful. MIT's a fabulous but also fortunate school.

Now if she'll just offer herself up to the cloning program... everyone should have an Isabella in her life!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Too Much Fun

Here is NPL's entry into this year's Marion Cross PTA Spelling Bee, Buns of Steel.

We didn't win, as usual, but participation is our real agenda. Just going to the Bee is a ball.

This year's squad consisted of NPL Volunteer Susan White, Cataloger Tina Avery, and our stalwart Captain Lisa Milchman. Here they are, pepping up the crowd with the trademark NPL cheer, Shhhhh!

I know that George Allen said Winning is the only thing, which was probably the best way to run the Green Bay Packers, but it's not the philosophy of our noble Captain Milchman, who views rabid competition with bemusement. To Lisa --and the rest of us-- it's all about community.

When our team was eliminated, Lucinda said, Now we can have the real fun. We rejoiced at the successes of the Senioras from the senior housing just
behind the library. The K-Mamas were impressive with their skill and staying power, and team member Lis Flannery is a regular here.

The Historical (Society) Hussies are like family to us at NPL. We'd
be up a creek if Nancy Osgood didn't blast in on a regular basis to wrap our new books in protective coating. Susan Mc Grew is in and out all the time. Mike Wood, our former NPL Board treasurer spelled for the Lions, and volunteer Connie Cadow's family spelled for Vermont Crèpe and No Wafflers. Our Library Board of Trustees fielded a team. It was impossible to do anything but root for everybody.

So we didn't care so much about winning as about seeing all the great costumes and hearing all the hilarious team introductions and scribbling furtively in the
audience, seeing whether or not we could spell froufrou correctly (I couldn't) and having our curiosity satisfied. Since NPL often feels like extended family, there's no real way to go home feeling like a loser. When the people we love win,(and they are many--our patrons and volunteers are amazing) everybody does.

When the Sesquipedalian Episcopalians emerged as victors, we were grateful for the opportunity to learn how to pronounce, never mind spell, their classy moniker.

The Spelling Bee is a delight... a real venue for community.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What To Do About Pluto?

Jewelry designer Julie Choi will lead children in making necklaces based on the Solar System Wednesday, March 26, from 2:30-4 p.m.

The popular artist has conducted several workshops at the Marion Cross School and has her own area and online business, Jule's Collections.

Now--what will she do about Pluto? Does it stay or go?

Call 649-1184 to reserve a space for your child, and find out first-hand.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Vermont Listens Up

Click on the headline above, and you can take a trip to the web site of Listen Up!Vermont, your new opportunity to download audio books online.

At last! More than a few patrons have asked us about this possibility, and now, thanks to the development of a consortium of libraries using the power of collective buying, audio books will be available for download for a borrowing period of one week.

What you're actually checking out is a license to listen to the audio book. You can renew the license at the end of the checkout period if the book
hasn't been reserved by someone else. Some of the books have little red flames (left) on their descriptors, meaning that you can burn them to a CD for long term use. You can also keep them on an MP3 player for extended use, although, alas, not on IPODs, with which they are not compatible. Download it to your hard drive, and it expires after a week. NPL is going to make three listening devices available for checkout as well.

Listen Up!Vermont has a starting collection of 250 audio books, most of which have a license to be checked out by one borrower at a time. There are 50 books available to multiple borrowers (this link will take you to that list) and therefore available at any time. By the end of the year, the site will offer a collection of 500 audio books.

To use the site, follow one of the links above. You'll need to select Norwich among the libraries, then key in the bar code number on your library card. Note: I just attempted to do this and found that as of this writing that someone is fine tuning the site. Target date for it to go live is March 1. If you go to the site and the login URL lands you at Middlebury College, you can conclude that someone is still at work. Try again periodically.

I'm impressed with the list of books currently on line. The 50 always-available books have lots of classics--Jane Austen, Tolstoy, Dickens, Conrad, Carroll, and Alcott among them. Children can experience the adventures of the Three Musketeers and Alice in Wonderland, the joys and sorrows of Little Women.

We're really excited about this opportunity. Lucinda, who has been one of the driving forces on the consortium board, has been hopping around like a merry maniac this week, eager to see her project through.

I'm already making a list of books I want to check out. Number one for me is an offbeat travel book. How's this for a title?! Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World.

This I gotta hear!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Getting Graphic

I've always loved cartoons and comic strips. When I was a preschooler I discovered the comics page in the Los Angeles Times and rose early each morning to pull the paper off the lawn and turn to page 6, part B, where Nancy and Sluggo awaited me. (They were cartoon characters of very few words, and therefore available to me.) Later I went on to develop daily relationships with Mary Worth, Terry and the Pirates, Dick Tracy, Lil Abner, and eventually Peanuts, still later Doonesbury, and on I still go, this more than half-century later, when I scan all the cartoons in the New Yorker before settling down to the articles. Comics have always been a key point in my long journey to and through literacy.

When a friend brought home Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis after reading it in a Dartmouth diversity study group, I was delighted. By both writing and drawing her story, Satrapi gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the Iranian revolution and its impact on a progressive family caught in the middle of tumultuous events. She made use of Persian miniatures in her backgrounds, and I realized that for her to restrict her story to words only would have been to deprive the reader of her vision. Persepolis is now out in movie form, nominated for an Oscar in the animated division. She's since written and drawn several other books, each one giving me an inside look into the workings of Iranian culture, a look beyond the veil, as it were.

Joe Sacco is another writer who uses graphics to complete his story. He is a reporter who draws, and I found his Palestine to be filled with the anecdotal images of his travels there, his visits with the Palestinian people. I came away with new insights into the struggles in that war-torn land.

I have been really impressed with Lucinda's additions to the Graphica
collection, as it is now called. James Sturm, one of the founders of the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, lends his talents to a wide range of topics. His James Sturm's America: God, Gold, and Golems projects a range of historical experiences, from 19th Century backwoods evangelism, to betrayal in coal country, to early 20th Century Jewish baseball. His work has a definite edge; his characters seem haunted by the history in which they find themselves.

I just read a book by Adrian Tomine which explored coming of age issues for Asian youth and which left me feeling, well... old. That's fine, because today's graphic artists/cartoonists seem to consider any topic potential fair
game for their talents. The 9/11 Report: a Graphic Adaptation isn't merely a cartoonist's "impression" of the events of that fateful day; it's a graphic distillation of the report itself, which was read carefully by co-authors Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón. It's a thinking person's version made visible.

We're lucky to have librarians so open to all current forms of expression. Check out our graphica collection and see if there aren't works that appeal to the kid and adult that co-exist in you.

Friday, February 8, 2008

In Praise of Margaret Truman

Everyone seems to remember Margaret Truman as the daughter of Harry Truman, often more specifically the soloist whose negative review caused her papa to threaten the reviewer with a broken nose and a black eye.

I remember her as a wonderful storyteller and my source for a hundred specific images of the Washington, DC she knew so well.

NPL's collection contains many of the DC based mysteries Margaret Truman wrote. I have read them all, first because I wanted to immerse myself in the atmosphere of that city, and then simply because they were good, good fun.

Her passing last week came as a surprise to me, since her latest novel, Murder on K Street, has just moved out of cataloging and onto the shelf. I was so pleased to see it; "eighty-three and still writing!" I remember glowing inwardly as I entered its ISBN into the system. I resolved to write her a note of admiration and praise.

As is too often the case, I am too late. I won't be able to pass on my compliments to the lady, but I can pass on my high regard to you. Should you like an insider tour of our nation's Capitol and some pretty good mysteries, do pick up a Margaret Truman mystery.

Her papa would have been proud.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Blessing Our Mess

From the beginning it wasn't a typical Saturday at the library. When I arrived to open up, the entry hall was filled with steam. The library sauna--our latest fundraiser?

If you've ever had a burst pipe there's an odor that you'd recognize anywhere. There was dampness on the stairs. I dashed down to the children's room and opened up. Sure enough, water was pouring out of the ceiling in the bathroom off the Children's Room. The ceiling tiles were soaked and breaking up. I walked across the room. Squish, squish. I felt the familiar puddles in the making and headed upstairs to find help.

There's a list of people to call over Lucinda's desk. I called the plumber and got an answering machine. To be safe, I called the one I'd had when my own pipes burst a couple of years ago. Then I called another one when I learned that there were several others ahead of me. I called Lucinda, who came right in. In the meantime I tried (in vain) to figure out how to turn off the water, which gushed indifferently away, giving us our own in-house waterfall.

I was wondering who else I should call when the officers of the Friends of the Library came through the door for their meeting. Suzanne Laaspere found the location of the leak. Anne Goodrich thought of other people to call and took to the phone. She must know everyone! Harley Cudney came in for books and ended up turning off the water. (Whew!) Michael Goodrich came by and gave us valuable advice. Brion McMullen came by to offer his counsel, as did NPL Board member Dave Emerson. All this on a Saturday! Isabella Lubin professionally ran the circulation desk upstairs so that we could continue to serve the public while we sorted out what needed to be done.

Then the Friends showed what true friends they are. Anne, Soong Elliott, Cindy Faughnan, and Ben Childs and his girlfriend Sarah began to help us move books from the shelves that needed to come down. People were cheery and upbeat and so kindly available. It's said that many hands make for light work, and it was certainly true.

I had come to work dressed for Casual Saturday; I was wearing my blue jeans and Google tee shirt. On the back of the shirt is "I feel lucky." Isabella teased me. "You feel

In fact, I did and I do. My luck began when she, Anne and the other Friends arrived. It stayed with us all day.

Thanks to all of Saturday's angels. You made us feel fortunate, right in the middle of a mess!