Posted by: jeannineatkins | October 20, 2008

Library Love

A few days ago I was inspired to write a tribute to our town library after meeting some of the Class of 2K8 classof2K8 authors, including Ellen Booraem, whose book, The Unnameables is just out. When Ellen told me she lives in Brooklin, Maine, my heart beat hard at the mention of the town where E.B. White wrote Charlotte’s Web. She tells me the barn is still standing, and yes, I’d love to wander in and take a sniff. But the library where his wife Katherine White donated children’s books: that must be something very special, too.

Of course every library is a treasure, and I’d love it if others post about their libraries, too. Here’s ours, not the best ever photo, but I had to get those pine cones that some child or elf lined up on the rock. I didn’t do it, really! I do wish I’d been around to watch.

When I helped with the library book sale last month, someone told me about dear memories of former librarian Ena Cane, who dressed in red in December, lit a log in the fireplace, and welcomed patrons with hot chocolate. Our library puts up plaques of retired librarians, and here’s hers.

I passed her grave stone on a recent walks. It was the angel cradling a bird that caught my eye: then I saw the books engraved in the stone above the lilies-of-the-valley gone by.

While this cemetary is usually quiet, of course when I came back on Saturday with my camera, two local men were fixing the fence around it. One seemed to hope I was coming to take their picture. Which I probably should have, but was bent on my mission. Paul, who helped excavate the foundation of our house many years ago, kept hammering as he said, “I told them I like blowing things up, not fixing things. I told them I’m 72, how many more times are they going to ask me to fix this fence? This is my third time.” My bet is he’ll be back.

Here’s a view of the cemetary from the distance. Paul also told me of a relative whose family has a site on the border complaining, “I don’t want to buried by a tobacco barn!” Even if it is a pretty yellow one.


  1. I enjoyed your ‘tour’
    What a lovely library and the photos and tour of it and the cemetery were nice =)

  2. Thanks for sharing this. Wandering through cemeteries is one of my favorite things. And this gravestone is perfect for Ena the librarian. I miss her and I didn’t even know her.

  3. I love the angel statue!

  4. Fun–I love the pine cones, too. I can just see a little kid in that squatting position they can all do, that I don’t stand a chance at, lining them up one by one.
    I’ll try and post about our bookmobile int he next few days!

  5. Re: I enjoyed your ‘tour’
    Thanks for reading! We are lucky to have such a great library.

  6. Awww, sweet about Ena.
    (and thanks for posting that you liked The Duchess. I’ve been hearing “eh,” but do want to see it, so this gives me a nudge.)

  7. Yes, that was what caught my eye… then led me back to thinking about the library. One thought is never enough… but when you get two or three in a row, it seems like time to write!

  8. Oh, that would be great to read about your bookmobile!
    It’s funny, the line of stories: how Ellen got me thinking about libraries, then I saw the stone angel, then I went back to the cemetary, then I heard Paul’s fixing-fence stories….

  9. I did like it. It was visually beautiful, Keira Knightley is a wonderful actress, and I love these types of stories and that it was based on the life of the Duchess of Devonshire. So I responded to it emotionally, I think — so I’m not sure if it’s a well-made movie, lol!

  10. Some things in life are a constant source of joy–and for me, the library has always been one of them. 🙂
    Lovely photos too!

  11. mmm
    The image of being met at the library with hot chocolate just melts my heart. Great post! Zu

  12. Re: mmm
    Zu, I know, libraries are great enough, but add that and life is bliss. Thank you for stopping by. I just added you to my friends list, in case I miss anything on Thru the Booth, and going there I remembered I never got to the Joyce Carol Oate’s book — it wasn’t in my local bookstore, but I remember getting distracted finding something else and that one passed by… then I started reading about C.S. Lewis again, who I’m teaching next week; and that was lovely, so thanks!!!!!!!

  13. Yes! My Saturday morning trip to the post office and library — it’s a 3 minute drive, but I tell my husband: you may not see me for a while….

  14. Re: mmm
    Sounds like me in a bookstore! Zu

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