Notes from your Alta Library

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March -- the month of change. The calendar changes, bringing us Spring -- no matter the weather, the calendar tells us that Spring arrives on March 20. Time changes -- days get longer, and daylight savings time begins on March 11. And we change -- we get restless to open windows and walk about outdoors; our windows look grimy and the furniture needs moving; our winter coats and sweaters are much too heavy. I received my first seed catalog in the mail this week (do they still call them "seed catalogs? Or are they "bulb catalogs? Or perhaps "plant catalogs?") and my heart rejoiced to see all the beautiful blooms and the vivid green and growing things. I know it is way too soon, but dreaming is half the fun.

Sometimes I think our taste in reading changes at this time also. We turn to lighter stories, or a good mystery where everything turns out OK, or suspense that scares us and sets our hearts pounding, but has a happy ending. So if this is your mind-set, we have a whole line-up of new books by favorite authors in these genre; Lee Stroble, Melvin Stars, Anne Rice, Michael Palmer, James Patterson, J.S. Robb -- take your pick.

The staff has also started a new display -- FEATURED AUTHORS OF THE MONTH. For March, they are Catherine Anderson and Mary Kay Andrews. They write "feel-good" books that will help us get through this transition period.

Kudos to Director Nelson and the staff for the new inviting space they have created as you enter the library. They have made a quite small place look larger, and here you may use the adult computers, browse the new books and DVDs, or just sit and read the paper or magazines.

And that is my segue into the topic of the role of the public library and its importance to the city. The public library was created to provide citizens with a wealth of services designed to enrich their lives. "Public library" means different things to different people. For many, the purpose of a public library is to help children develop a love of reading. For others, it means a place that provides computers and internet access to people who don't have them at home. It contains materials of interest to all ages and on all topics. It may be seen as a source of books and movies for pleasure and recreation, or an institution vital to democracy because it provides access to information from all points of view. Libraries add to the quality of life. Statewide, about 66% of Iowans have library cards, and these are used to access books, computers , recorded books, movies, newspapers, how-to helps, and more. So they are welcomed by the city to provide a more inviting atmosphere. (This information was taken from The Library Trustees Handbook for the State of Iowa.)

The Board seeks to make certain these purposes are fulfilled, and welcomes input from any and all as we move into the future.

'til next time, Joyce