About a decade or so ago, I remember reading how libraries were on their way out and would soon be replaced by the computer and the internet. I’m reminded of Mark Twain, who, when reading about his death in a newspaper, said, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
Libraries—public, school, academic and special--the big ones and the little ones are flourishing. This week (April 10-16) we honor them. We applaud these places where books are special—and made available to everyone. We reflect on the theme “Libraries Transform.”
I remember the eight years I attended a one-room country school, where our library was but four shelves of books in the back of the school room, next to the big rusty wood burning stove. By the time I was in fifth grade I read every book and began reading them over again. In those days, I did not have access to the village library. But I loved books, loved holding them, and so much appreciated what I was reading. Books took me to far places in the world, got me thinking about things I never thought about, and learning about people so different from those in my rural community.
Arnol Roberts owned the Mercantile in Wild Rose. In the basement, Mr. Roberts had a table of new books. When he knew of my interest in reading, and after I had saved money from picking potatoes or cucumbers, he took me to the basement and told me about the books he thought I’d like to read: Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss, Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge, The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson and more. They were forty-nine cents, in hardcover, and I have them on my shelf today.
One of the reasons I’m a writer is my great love for books. And today’s libraries make them available to everyone. Over the past several years, I have spoken at 121 Wisconsin libraries, from north to south, from east to west, from the tiniest of the tiny to the biggest of the big.
So my hat is off to libraries, they are the community centers in many state’s villages and cities, places where people gather, read books, and chat with each other. As the theme for National Library Week suggests, “Libraries Transform.”
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Read a good book lately? Stop by your local library and check one out.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Writing Workshops for 2016
Telling Your Story Workshop at Wild Rose Library, Saturday June 11, 9-4. Call 920-622-3835 to get your name on the list as enrollment is limited.
Telling Your Story Workshop at The Clearing in Door County. Friday, August 12, 9-4. Call 920-854-4088 to get your name on the list.
April 14, 12:00 p.m. Wild Rose Hospital Auxiliary Luncheon speaker. Farm Stories
April 17, 7:00 p.m. Lebanon Historical Society and Dodge County Geological Group, Watertown Senior and Community Center, 514 South First Street, Watertown. Whispers and Shadows.
April 19, 6:00 p.m. Union Grove Library. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History
May 26, 7:00 p.m. Richfield Historical Society, 4128 Hubertus Road, Richfield, WI Whispers and Shadows.
June 7, Cambria Library.
June 11, 9-4 Writing Workshop, Wild Rose Library. Telling Your Story
June 14.9:00 a.m. Keynote speech. Country Heritage Day, St. John the Baptist Church, Montello. Barns of Wisconsin.
August 9, 6:30 p.m.. Evening. Winnebago County Historical Society. Oshkosh Library. Ag. History
August 12 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County.
August 20, 10:30-11:30 am. Waupaca Annual Arts on the Square.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street