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Things I Regret Saying, #579 in an Ongoing Series

February 21st, 2007

“No, thank goodness!” (accompanied by extreme eyeroll and exaggerated affect)

Said to a cab driver in Austin, Texas who I had just told I lived in the DC area, and who had just responded “Oh, do you work for the Governor?”

Flickr question

February 15th, 2007

Can someone help me figure out why this picture on my flickr account has been viewed so many times?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/katxn/383237344/. As of this moment, it’s up to 167 views, which is a lot for one of my photos, especially one that I haven’t posted to any groups or blogs. Where are the views coming from?

Reading

February 2nd, 2007

I love the library. When I was kid, I used to beg my parents to take me to the library. We’d go once or twice a month and I would check out as many books as I could, and I’d finish them all in a week and have to wait forever before I could go back. I still remember the moment that it first occured to me that I could get books from the adult section as well as the kid section. That was a revelation. And when I was a bit older, in junior high or so, I used to go to the library after school because I was a latchkey kid and I figured I could do my homework at the library as well as I could at home — and it was less lonely. Even now, grown up that I am, I get a bit giddy at the thought of going to the library. I just love it.

Which is why I bawled my eyes out in the car this morning on the way to work. I was listening to a story on NPR about the possibility that all the libraries in Jackson County, Oregon will be shut down due to the end of a special subsidy Congress provides to counties with a lot of Federal land. There was a big rally yesterday in front of the main library, which is in the little metropolis of Medford, Oregon, and the NPR story featured quotes from people passionately concerned about what a libraryless county would be like.

As much as I love libraries in general, that’s not why I was crying. I was crying because the Jackson County library system was my library system when I was a kid. Listening to the story, all I could think about was the beautiful building downtown with the columns that seemed so huge (and the foundation one of my anscestors dug) and the steps where I saw Gerald Ford give a campaign speach in 1976 and the magic book return that somehow got my books back to the library even though it was out on the street (I found out later it dumped them in the Library’s basement). The idea of THAT library closing is so horrifying to me that I’m still tearing up just thinking about it.

Where will little kids get their books? Where will grade school kids have that “adult section” revelation? Where will confused, gawky, smart-but-somehow-behind latchkey teenagers go after school?

What kind of community doesn’t have a library?

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Edited to add: Here are some links to articles about the crisis in Jackson County and similar counties:
http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2007/0202/local/stories/medford-library.htm
http://www.azjournal.com/pages/news/2007/Jan%2007/013107forestfees.html
http://www.theunion.com/article/20070130/NEWS/101300144
http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070201/NEWS02/702010332/1009