Eight Lessons for August First
August 1, 2017
I spent the day on a crazy library crawl with my friend, Patti. Patti is that friend that always calls me to do the thing with her that is just a little off the grid. I consider this a tremendous compliment. So we set out to visit 12 local libraries and view their prize possessions in one day. We didn’t have a plan except the list of libraries, our phones, and our company. The day was full of little surprises, great conversation, and some adventure. Here are eight lessons learned on August 1.
- Be willing to linger in the crazy/good/interesting folly. It took a while. We gave ourselves the day to enjoy. We didn’t rush. We chatted with the people we met. We lingered over art. We thought about the past. We noticed those around us. We relaxed in our pursuit.
- Have a plan, but keep it loose. 12 libraries in a day is sort
of crazy sauce. There was road work. There was questionable GPS advice. Be prepared, but not too quickly, to let go of something if it’s not working.
- Take a moment. Those extra minutes to hear a story, make a connection, examine something more closely lead to the jewels that make the day.
- Be camera ready. Patti looked lovely and I did not have my best look on. We took dozens of pictures. So… be camera ready. Not Pinterest. Not Vogue. Know what the objective is, what’s going on in your class, what your goals are, and what might happen next. You never know who’s going to drop by. More importantly, you’ll feel ready for anything.
- Everyone will not have the same reaction to you, so what. Each library was different and their welcome/interest in us was in kind. Our interest in the experience did not change. We had an agenda and goals and their reaction only could enhance that.
- Beautiful things can happen in benign neglect. While stopped in traffic we noticed some lovely “ditch flowers” blooming away. A little neglect is a good thing.
- On the way to your objective, you may discover marvelous surprises. We discovered a stuffed aardvark, a step and handle to reach books, an art gallery, a house in a library, a library that checks out crockpots, stained glass, a seismograph, a bench with solar charging station, tributes to heroes and beloved community objects, and so many places to linger over a book.
- Accomplishment is a good thing. We were going to let that last library go and settle for 11/12, but we were so close. We went for it. Now we can say, 12/12 … to ourselves.
Thank you to my friend Patti, Morse Institute Library, Bacon Free Library, Wayland Free Library, Goodnow Library, Weston Public Library, Sherborn Public Library, Wellesley Free Public Library, Wellesley Free Library Hills Branch, Wellesley Free Library Fells Branch, Framingham Public Library, McAuliffe Branch Framingham Public Library, and Dover Town Library.