Why we need libraries

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 A day in the life of New York City’s public libraries:

In an informative and moving video, Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks reveal just how important the modern library is for millions of people. You can watch it here, on the Atlantic Magazine site.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

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Mad Hatter photos by Rachel

We’ve got more Mad Hatter’s Tea Party photos for you, this time from Friends of Chagford Library member Rachel Basham (a.k.a. The Cheshire Cat), who designed and co-organised the event.

If you’ve got some good photos to share, please send them to us. For all the photos so far, go here.

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Mad hats…

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Mad Hatters

Why we need libraries

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“Reading is sometimes thought of as a form of escapism, and it’s a common turn of phrase to speak of getting lost in a book. But a book can also be where one finds oneself; and when a reader is grasped and held by a book, reading does not feel like an escape from life so much as it feels like an urgent, crucial dimension of life itself.”  – Rebecca Mead (My Life in Middlemarch)

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“Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home — they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and space. There is warmth there too — a hearth. I sit down with a book and I am warm.”  – Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)

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The book sculptures above are by Jodi Harvey-BrownJustin Rowe, Susan Hoerth, and Su Blackwell. Visit their websites to see more of their work. (The sculptures are made from recycled, damaged books — no readable books were harmed in the process!)

Why we need libraries

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“The child of two academics, I was taught that books should be safeguarded and that wasn’t just some sentimental impulse. As the child of two working class people who’d expanded their employment options through education, I was shown books opened like doors into almost unlimited opportunities. And when my mother took me to our local library – Blackness Library, Dundee, it is still there – I found it a high-ceilinged, soft-scented temple of good things yet to happen. Pensioners there reading the papers, enjoying the warmth and presence of company, adults at desks studying, changing their minds almost visibly and children picking out what were still novelties – stories we’d never met. My first ever means of personal identification was my proof of library membership. I was a citizen of the world because I was a reader.”

– Scottish author A.L. Kennedy, in “What Happens When Libraries Fall Silent”

Read the full piece here.

Thank you, Chagford!

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unnamedMany thanks to everyone who participated in the playreading at Hollow Meadow this past weekend, in support of Chagford Library!

And to the people who came hear it, and the people who helped out, and most of all to Joanna Ford for organising and hosting this magical event.

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream