Wednesday, April 16, 2014


 My five postings this week will be in honor of National Library Week, April 13-19

When I was a child growing up in Putney, Vermont, the Putney Public Library was for everyday. The Brattleboro Public Library, ten miles south, was for Mom-Goes-Shopping-in-Brattleboro days. I had a whole passel of siblings, and since we were all of tender age, we accompanied our mother with her on her shopping expeditions, whether we wanted to or not.  Mom's shopping was always a long drawn-out affair, with slow progressions through one boring store after another, delayed even further by Mom's lengthy conversations with any friends she encountered---enough to drive any normal child to distraction. The one thing that could save our sanity was a visit to the Brattleboro Library.
Lugging my huge armful of books to be returned, I always approached the front steps of this beautiful building with a physical thrill of anticipation.
The interior was dark and mysterious and cool, panelled everywhere with burnished wood, and carrying that smell of musty books, furniture polish, and age so characteristic of older libraries.
My siblings and I always headed for the Children's Room, downstairs. Here I would stock up with as many volumes as I could manage to carry. Hopefully there would be enough last me until the next Shopping Day. If they didn't---well, I might even urge Mom to go on one of those hated Shopping Days sooner than planned, just so I could once again breathe in the scent of the library, and lose myself in the delicious contemplation of books, books, books.  

The building in these photos was torn down and replaced in 1967 by a more modern structure. But the library itself---the books, and the people---has continued uninterrupted, a vibrant mecca for children of Shopping Moms and Dads---and for the rest of the world as well.

Read more about this wonderful library at

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