What a day for the DeKalb Public Library. Yesterday was the party to celebrate the 80 years this building has been in continuous operation. (The library was actually dedicated on February 15, 1931.) The average amount of money spent for a Carnegie library ( libraries which were built throughout the United States around 1900 by Andrew Carnegie was $15,000). This building cost $150,000!!! So a mighty thank you to Jacob Haish and his two descendants who represented him yesterday: Jeff Marshall and Jennie Marshall Cummings. Thank you to Representative Pritchard and Illinois State House of Representatives for the commemorative honor. Thank you to Mayor Povlsen who spoke eloquently about the technology needs for our citizens. Thank you to Imelda Ruiz who represented the Board of Trustees and Thank you to the five members of our NIU football team who reminded the audience that they are student athletes and reading is vital to success as a student.
We do hope to see lots of familiar as well as new faces on Sunday when we celebrate the birthday of this building. A “nooks and crannies” tour as well as a few short speeches with refreshments. Get a library card as well while you are here. We have lots of new merchandise featuring the mural. All proceeds after costs will go to the DeKalb County Community Foundation to increase our endowment fund. We use the proceeds of that fund to buy materials for the library every year. We would like to grow the endowment with your assistance.
Have you read any of Mr. Smith’s books. He has several different sereis. One of them has been made into a series of TV shows– The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. They are all delightful. I am reading his series called 44 Scotland Street– about a group of people living in apartments in Edinburgh. Reminds me a bit of P.G. Wodehouse. Perfect for cold weather. Nothing too terrible is going to happen and you get to know some delightful individuals throughout the series.
One of the most intriguing books I have read in a long time is Room by Emma Donoghue. Unique. A boy and his mother are in a room– apparently imprisoned. How do you raise a child when there is no freedom of movement.
Librarians are trained from graduate school days to always be neutral– providing material on all sides of an issue, answering any question with a professional approach, using all reliable sources to locate the answer to a question but yesterday provided a real test– Packers or Steelers. How did you decide? I ended up rooting for the Packers. I did love the commercial with the little boy in the Darth Vader costume and hated the Doritos one with the guy sucking the cheese off his buddy’s finger. What were your favorites and hates?
There will be no fines for the day and a half that we closed.
I hope everyone was safe during the storm. In town, we had no electricity failures so the library’s computers are fine and we are warm here today. We are open and ready for business.
I attended an all day meeting in Utica last Wednesday that dealt with the new reality. I sure wish I knew what to say. There will be a merger by June 30. But the State of Illinois is now proposing a delivery system for the whole state. I wonder what that might look like– hubs in various large cities? To be anounced. I keep attending meetings in person and by webinar and although I am learning with everyone else, there is not much definite yet.
We are all paying attention to the potentially massive storm coming. Hope everyone has plenty to read and watch. We’ll be open unless we have to close for our staff’s safety or because the roads are too bad for patrons.
Please remember to put our 80th birthday party on your schedule. Although the library itself was started in 1893, this buildingwas opened in February 1931. We will have tours and food. You can see the third floor, the dumbwaiter that is still in use today to move books from one floor to another and the secret staircase.