The library, one of my favorite places
As a child, I always thought of the library as a magical place. The building itself was rather spare, set apart from any town, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. But, once I entered the Glen Lake Library, the shelves held books full of mystery, magic, and exotic places I could visit with just the turn of a page.
Today, I love the library for many of the same reasons. Books are a wonderful way to escape into another world.
The back entrance to the Harmony Public Library is definitely a magical space that shows many of the worlds of books in the library within. For the Harmony Library’s 100th Anniversary, members of the community painted a mural that covers three walls of the outside patio and takes the eye from a garden/reality painting with people reading and playing to a shelf of books. Scrolled across the top are the words, “Reading Is The Key To Your Imagination.” The mural is certainly imaginative, showing many characters from children’s books, such as Curious George, Clifford the dog, and the elephant from the Jungle Book, among others. The plan is to plant two trees for shade at the north end of the patio and add planters for greenery. The floor of the patio needs a whole lot of love as it is cracked, crumbling, and unsafe. The Community Foundation has supplied a $5,000 matching grant of the $10,000 needed for the new cement. The library has raised $2,065. If you wish to donate to this project, please send to the Harmony Public Library, PO Box 488, Harmony, Minn. 55939; earmark for the patio project.
Gilbert barely stops to view the beautiful mural, but his tail is wagging as soon as he knows we’re going into the library. He has a wonderful relationship with the head librarian, Stephanie Silvers, a Gilbert lover, who always has a treat in hand for him. The library loves dogs as well. The children’s librarian, Kay Himlie, informs me that there are over 200 children’s books with dogs in them in the library.
Brave Norman by Andrew Clements is a true story about a blind golden retriever, who saves a girl from drowning in the ocean. Another good read is Tara and Tiree, fearless friends, a true story about the rescue, with the help of his two dogs, of a man who falls through the ice. Dr. Jack, the Helping Dog, is about a dog that gives a child a tour of Mayo Clinic. Jack is a real service dog, who can “help your heart by lifting your spirits and making you comfortable and happy.” Since Jack has started working at Mayo Clinic, he has lifted the spirits of 2,000 patients, old and young alike.
A cozy nook invites children in to sit and look at the books invitingly lining the walls, or play with the stove set, donated by the Lions Club, or puzzles and toys. It is important to set children up with a positive image of books and libraries for a love of learning that will serve them well all their lives.
Gilbert doesn’t have much to say about the topic of dogs, but if patrons are looking for such a book, there are plenty of choices. Dog lovers may enjoy A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, a heartwarming story about a dog’s search for his purpose over several lives. A Dogs Purpose is a commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. Comet’s Tail How the Dog I Rescued Saved My Life, by Steven Wolf, is the true story of a rescue dog that became a service dog for a man who was injured. If you wish a humorous read, Marley and Me is a good choice.
A library is an important part of the community as well. Stephanie informed me that a national survey shows that one of the top five things people search for when moving to a new town is if the town supports a public library.
Harvey Benson said, “I’ve liked libraries all my life and now they have computers here and I don’t have to mess with one at home. All my problems (with the computer) are solved here. I can order any movie I want and pick up any book I want. I don’t know what’s better than that.”
Drucie Milne likes to come to the library because she likes the books, especially mysteries and adventure love stories. She likes to bring her great grandchildren to the library as well.
“Brad” commented, with a twinkle in his eye as he checked out a book, that every time you come into the library, the reception you get from the librarians is wonderful. Kay asked if he’d like a treat for that comment and I told Brad that they have dog treats.
Humor aside, I have to agree. The librarians here are the best part of the library, as they are always ready to help in any way possible.
Sue’s Favorite Waffles
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour (or 1 ½ cups flour and ½ cup whole wheat flour)
2 cups buttermilk or 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup milk or 1 cup yogurt and a cup of milk or less, depending on the consistency of the yogurt
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat waffle iron. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Crack four eggs into a bowl and beat. Add flour mix and buttermilk alternately, starting with flour and ending with flour. Add melted butter and blend thoroughly. Spray waffle iron with Pam cooking spray. Pour about ½ a cup of batter into the center of the waffle iron and cook until done. Serve with butter, maple syrup, and a variety of berries.