Dear Library: From Kirk

TV Weatherman and Full Time Father of Two

Dear Library,

I use my library as a resource, mainly for fiction books and recorded books to listen while commuting to and from Parkersburg. However, I have also found interesting meetings going on when I’ve popped into the main branch in Athens. One evening, I stumbled on the fact there was an “Open Mic” meeting going on, and all ages were encouraged to speak, perform or act for the audience. On impulse, I got in line, and stood up before the mic.

 I had intendedjust to slip in and out quickly, retelling my children’s favorite knock-knock joke. I had all ages in the palm of my hand as I started: “Knock, knock” I started. “Who’s there?” they all chorused. “Interrupting Cow.” “Interrupting Co…’ “MOOOOOOOO!!” I shouted. They all laughed and when the laughter died, I warned them that this was an infectious joke. That they’ll be sitting somewhere quietly thinking, when the memory of this joke would surface…it’s such a silly thing…and that before long, they’d start to giggle…then laugh at themselves for giggling….and then laugh out loud as other people notice them. And they wouldn’t be able to stop until they told the stupid joke to others. “See if you don’t,” I warned them. As I left the mic, one mother turned to her grade-school son and said, “Oh Mikey, that’s YOUR joke! You could have told it!” With a grin, I said as I walked past them, “It’s not too late to tell it to others….” This is just one example of how the library has enriched the lives of many families. Another time I walked in and saw a group with a slide presentation of galaxies and planets going on in the large meeting room. I couldn’t stop, but just added my name and email address to their sign-in sheet. It was the start of my family’s association with the Athens Stargaizing Society. Now-a-days I get an email whenever they’re planning something like a viewing or a meeting, and I strive to come join them. If not for the library, I would not have known about this group, and wouldn’t have connected with my friends as soon as I did. I could go on and on, about fellow comic book fans that I’ve met in the youth section, about library employees that I’ve seen wearing a Captain America t-shirt, about meeting Sandy Plunket at his display, and countless other events or associations made as we cross paths at the library. It’s for this reason that I’m hesitant about taking the next step to electronic downloads, cause it’s a step closer to George Orwell’s “1984” and the ability to edit history with a few keystrokes rather than trust the dependable physical paper and ink of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrerheit 451”. But given new technology and the cost-savings that it might bring to the library and my family, I’m willing to give it a try. Certainly, my teens and wife will embrace it as quickly as they did the Ipod and recorded books and music. Thank you, My Public Library.


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