On the Road to Inspiration
Libraries inspire me. I love reading, doing research in quiet nooks, finding unexpected intriguing books, and am married to a former school librarian!
Luckily, we are currently in Ketchum, Idaho, which has a remarkable Community Library. (http://www.comlib.org). So many elements make this a special place. First of all, it has one of my favorite go-to spots in the winter–a large central fireplace where a real fire is always burning. Second, the library is a cultural hub for the community, providing classes and speakers throughout the year. Two authors we have seen and heard are Anthony Doerr, an Idaho resident, who spoke about his All the Light We Cannot See and Jon Meacham, who discussed his book, The Soul of America. Third, the children’s library is both inviting and whimsical.
I also like the history of the library. Seventeen local women founded the library. They each contributed one dollar to a library fund, then opened the Gold Mine Thrift Store in 1955 “in a one-room log cabin to earn funds to build and operate a library.” The first library opened two years later.
Today, the library is more than thriving, and it is still entirely privately funded, with no tax dollars as a part of its operation. Currently located on almost an entire city block, it is going through a renovation. When I walked into the foyer, for example, expecting to see the traditional check out desk, I instead was greeted by an art show– over 20 yellow glass Ulysses Cylinders created by glasswork artist Dale Chihuly and his collaborator, Seaver Leslie, inspired by the James Joyce novel Ulysses. Wow!
And the Gold Mine Thrift Store is also still thriving and contributing all its profits to the running of the library. And we do our part by shopping there! Imagine finding inexpensive treasures and shopping guilt free, knowing that the money goes to a favorite institution.
This week’s library finds? Though I went there hoping to find the cookbook Heirloom Kitchen that a friend recommended–not in the collection yet–I did check out a book by Gretchen Rubin called Outer Order, Inner Calm. I also discovered a brochure on a walking tour of places Ernest Hemingway frequented during his many years spent in this area. Every year, the library sponsors an Ernest Hemingway Seminar; this year’s September seminar will focus on For Whom The Bell Tolls.
SO…there you have it. Let’s hear it for libraries, thrift stores with a good purpose, and one of The Community Library’s mottos: Be Mind Full. I like that.