Jorge Luis Borges, the South American writer and librarian, wrote of libraries as being akin to a Tower of Babel. In his short story “The Library of Babel,” he describes a library as reflecting the world in all of its wide-ranging complexity. The librarians in the story are driven mad trying to find any underlying uniformity to the diversity that the library represents.
While modern librarians are not in any present danger of being driven mad by our library, we are very motivated to make our library reflect the diversity of our communities. While it can seem that the library is a hodgepodge of activities and programming, there is an underlying principle at work. What ties everything together is the community we serve.
All libraries are unique in their own way because all communities are unique in their own way. Every community emphasizes different resources and prefers different programming. What is absolutely true is that libraries only exist to be used. Towards that end, I would like to point out some of the diverse resources that you might find useful and educational.
Everyone knows we have books, but we also provide a variety of programs and databases that are both educational and of practical use. For example, during the month of October we have two salmon related events. We had a children’s program Oct. 19. The Grays Harbor Stream Team visited the Montesano Timberland Library to teach the kids about the salmon lifecycle and make bracelets. On Tuesday, Oct. 29, from 6-7:30 p.m., we have Dr. Nick Bond giving a presentation on the decreasing salmon population entitled ‘Are We Doomed? Hatching a Plan to Save a Northwest Icon.’ Dr. Bond will discuss the science and history of salmon in the Northwest and what we can do to preserve this cherished icon. These are just two recent programs. To see others, you can check out our events page at www.trl.org.
In addition to programs, we offer a wide variety of online resources. One of the more popular is the complete Chilton Online Auto Repair Manual series. You can access this series from anywhere you have an internet connection. Chilton offers complete repair procedures and diagrams for automobiles going back to the 1940’s. It also has a test preparation for the Delmar ASE Technician Test. We also offer a Small Engine Repair Reference Center online. This Reference collection covers many small engines including boat engines, lawn mowers and motorcycles. You can find these resources on our webpage.
On display at the Montesano Library this month is a series of assistive devices that people can check out to take home and use. We have devices that help with hearing, vision, mobility and communication. These are devices that are intended to increase the quality of life for members of our community. We have devices that assist in holding a hand of cards to weighted silverware for someone whose hands shake while eating. We also have many other devices that help with everyday practical activities. You should come down and take a look and if you see something you like you can take it home to try it out.
These are just a few of the diverse resources that Montesano Timberland Library offers. In closing, I would like to mention that your librarian is always at your service. Please stop by and say hello and if there are any resources or programs that you would like to see please let me know.
Chris Springer is the manager of the Montesano Timberland Library. He can be reached at 360-249-4211 or firstname.lastname@example.org.