08 November, 2011

The Library - More than just Books

If you live in the NorthEast, you know all about the recent "freak" snowstorm. And the prolonged power outages we suffered here in CT.  At my house, the outage  lasted six days, and we won't discuss the clean up that remains.

Most of us have wells; loose translation: no power, no water, ergo no toilets.  You can image just how happy a power outage makes us.  Some people have generators, but most do not.  Some have fireplaces, some do not.

I'm lucky enough to live a community where people actually check on their neighbours at times like this, share what resources they have -- I gave away half a cord of wood, others offered drinking water, food, and batteries -- and keep their spirits up as much as possible.  The Y throws open their doors to everyone -- member or not -- offering hot showers and access to outside water sources (to fill up those five-gallon jugs we all keep "just in case."

And the library, bless them, becomes the center of activity for the dispossessed.  Our library extends its normal hours,  puts out extra tables and chairs, provides a warming center, internet access free of charge, and a place to recharge cell phones, flashlights and anything else you need recharged. 

Want to vent to a local official? The selectmen and state representative can be found at the library every day, reassuring townspeople and just listening if that's all you need.  And best of all, you get to see people you haven't seen in years!  Everyone is there, reading, chatting, drinking coffee.  No one said a word when I brought my elderly Golden Retriever in with me; they just petted her.

This is what community is all about.  Many thanks to our library for their community spirit and unfailing positive attitude.  And yes, I will be sending in an extra donation this year.

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