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LIBRARY TALK – MARCH 7, 2019

           I was thinking about different ways people use the library, and pondering just the last few days, we’ve had people email us for local history questions (2 obits and 1 early business history request), we’ve faxed documents, helped set up an email account, talked about books we’ve read and enjoyed, ordered books from outside our 240+ library consortium for researchers, listened to and acted on suggestions of movie and book titles, showed someone the fun and possible ‘addiction’ to reading and printing out old newspapers on the microfilm (yes, we have many digitized on our website, for browsing pleasure and printing, the microfilm machine still does it better), proctored an exam, offered a quiet location for tutoring,  tinkered with some of our new equipment at Aberdeen, issued new library cards to several people, found websites for patrons, and printed off tax forms.  Of course, the core of checking in/out books, magazines, movies goes on all the time, and we enjoy the interaction with our ‘peeps’.  Thank you for using your local resources, we appreciate your business!

       I was browsing the March 2019 Smithsonian magazine, and the prologue titled America’s First Poster Child caught my eye with the 1855 daguerreotype of a 7 year old girl dressed in plaid with a notebook at her side. This little girl had been enslaved, and was freed by Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner.  Mr. Sumner realized that having such a fair complexed child would make a strong statement for the abolitionist movement, and he was correct. Using “Ida May’ as a poster child to stir sympathies as well as fears that any child could be ‘kidnapped’ and sold into slavery, especially after the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, was a genius act of propaganda and helped rally New Englanders into supporting abolition. The history of the little girl and the impact she had is in a book to be released next week titled Girl in Black and White by Jessie Morgan-Owens. The author has spent 12 years researching the story of the little girl, her family and the impact on the abolition movement– fascinating.

            In late 2016, we added The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. I don’t look at trees the same anymore! Their methods of communication and survival strategies are amazing. Since then, Peter wrote The Inner Life of Animals, and the end of his trilogy is out this week, The Secret Wisdom of Nature. This book is more of his observations, and stories of connection with animals, weather, earth and man. Good, easily read and  thought-provoking chapters, both of success and worrisome future predictions in our world.

            Ah, fiction. This week, James Patterson’s First Lady, Danielle Steel’s Silent Night, Tracie Peterson’s beginning of a new series with When you are Near, Lisa See (author of Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane  and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan) introduces readers to the world of Korean female sea divers  with The Island of Sea Women and more.

Matthew