Dixie Darr

The Best Place in Town. Any Town.

In Books, creativity, Learning, Lent - Season of Change on March 14, 2017 at 8:43 am

Lent – Season of Change, Day 12

Learning how to use the library is the only thing I remember about second grade, roughly a hundred years ago. The librarian showed us how to remove a book from the shelf and return it without damage and how to use the card catalog. When we moved to Adams County the next year, we relied on weekly visits to the bookmobile, which parked in the lot of a small strip mall a few blocks from our house. I liked mysteries back then (just like now) and read as many Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books as I could get my hands on.

These days, I go to two libraries every week, but libraries have evolved from the book-sharing concept introduced by Benjamin Franklin in 1731. You can get books in the traditional format, but also digital and audio books, plus movies, music, toys, tools, wifi hotspots and anything else somebody can think of to loan out. People go to libraries to use free computers, take advantage of a quiet work or study space, participate in classes, or find respite from the elements.

Some of my favorite library activities included learning how to make my own hard cover journals and fused glass jewelry, attending a Christmas concert by a bell choir, and visiting a gallery of maps inspired by the book, Personal Geographies by Jill K. Berry.

Today the Denver Public Library also houses a recording studio, an idealab, and a place to convert records, VHS tapes, cassettes, slides, and film to digital formats. You can use your library card to book free admission to museums. The Jefferson County Library sponsors a Prom Swap of formal wear.

If you need more ideas about how to use the library, check out The Library as Incubator Project whose mission is “to promote and facilitate creative collaboration between libraries and artists of all types.” Their book, The Artist’s Library: A Field Guide, features case studies of artists who use the library to stimulate their own creativity. You can get it at the library.


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