“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”
Dr. Mae Jemison
Physician and NASA astronaut; first black woman in space
As part of the evolutionary spectrum, creation — invention and reinvention — is our default setting. True of our greater world in general and of the library as well, this observation is fitting because, just as we are constantly adding new materials, “weeding” others and trying new programs, over the past few years we’ve gradually been replacing ancient shelving and office furnishings that were in danger of being declared OSHA hazards, and acquiring or updating some workplace equipment.
Whenever a new chair or tool or some other sort of everyday technological marvel comes into our possession, there’s a general curiosity about it as it’s assembled (usually by Gary and Mary L., since the object is utility and longevity, instead of by those of us who inadvertently turn the item into abstract kinetic sculpture a la Calder) and, once completed, tried out. Oohs and aahs generally follow; some of us are easily impressed.
After, I often think that someone had to invent this new version, and thank goodness they did; from a better, nonsnaggling stapler to a sturdy all-purpose wagon that folds up flat to that zippy new smart copier/printer, with the exception of software, the latest iteration is generally an improvement.
If these mundane inventions make life easier for us in the everyday world, the greater-scale explorations dared by the most audacious among us arguably make Life, capital L — the whole story of existence — an entirely new and remarkable journey for every generation born. In whatever field of endeavor they choose, those who go first, who make it and do it, change the world for those who come after; hopefully, their contribution serves the betterment of our planet and all who reside here.
Come browse our nonfiction section sometime, and see what some pioneering spirits have produced. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to add your own page to the ongoing story.
On a different, less lofty topic, Linda reminded me that August is Picnic Month. The definition of what constitutes a picnic is loose: If you like the glamping-style, linens-and-crystal goblets version in which endive, hand-picked currants and caramelized chevre are featured, go for it; just know that it doesn’t have to involve that much effort.
In this precious window of weather in which we’re neither drowning and shivering nor toasting like bagels under withering heat, let’s get outside, listen to the original twitter feed of birds, eat our lunches under a tree or by the water somewhere.
My brother and I have a tradition of sitting in the overgrown backyard in Milton with the dog, splitting a sub sandwich and idly wondering whether the osprey wheeling in the blue overhead will drop a fish on us this time (it’s happened).
Folks have been enjoying a shady stretch of grass behind our rain garden, where those brilliant, nodding red velvet lilies and bee balm are calling out the hummingbirds and butterflies in droves. We’re blessed with many great spots to relax with a book and a cool drink, and appreciate the natural beauty around us.
There’s plenty of August left, although our Summer Reading Program is winding down. Adult Services continues to encourage you grownups who read voraciously to come in and fill out Big Universal Takeaway stars — it’s quick and easy — in exchange for Star Bucks, which are then redeemed for some seriously cool little prizes, and become your entries into the drawing for the Big Bang Grand Prize Drawing, which will be held in the last week of August.
A piece of disappointing news: Our Aug. 11 The Life of Bees program with beekeeper Zac Thompson has been canceled; we hope to find another beekeeper willing to share their knowledge with the community, and if that happens, we will reschedule.
On August 19, 6 p.m., BYOBooks will reconvene to share food, friendship and what we’ve been reading lately; please join us.
In Youth Services, we continue our Preschool Story Times each Tuesday morning at 10:30, with space-themed fun continuing throughout August. Thank you, all of you who signed up and attended our summer events. Kids and teens can continue recording their summer reading in their trackers and collecting prizes for every five books read through this Friday, Aug. 9, 2 p.m., when we’ll have our big end-of summer Reading Wrap Party. All kids and teens who participated in our Summer Reading Program will enjoy refreshments and receive awards and prizes.
In the fall, look for an author visit, some new programs, a concert or two and our Friends’ presence at the communitywide Rocktoberfest. We’ll keep tending our collection (there are some great reads coming out over the next couple months!), trying new things and offering them to you.
Meanwhile, we hope you savor the remaining weeks of summer, create some fond memories, and find inspiration to make, do, learn and reinvent, making the very most out of life and enjoying it to the fullest.
Gizelle Guyette is director of Morristown Centennial Library.