Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Cary Library

I ended the traditional school week with another festive event--the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Cary Library.  It was this occasion that inspired our summer reading program and banner project that I described in a previous post.  But because the Cary Library first opened its doors on October 22, 1960, the official celebration was today.

The fun began this afternoon, where they had cake and punch and balloons for the children.  There were five Cary Homeschooler families when we were there, but we might have missed some earlier because we came late.  Here is a picture of some of our artists seeing their work for the first time and explaining who did which panels to children's librarian Miss Erin:

Then in the evening, they had an adult celebration, filled with former staff, library official, town officers, authors, and most of all, library patrons.  They reviewed the history of the library in the Cary community, and recognized past and present staff and directors (it turns out the new head of the Wake County Public Library system used to be head of the Cary Library).  City Council member Don Frantz was there to read a proclamation from the mayor, as was the Cary School Board member Debra Goldman (the one who cast the pivotal vote recently in a policy change I discussed in this earlier post).

There were also six different authors there, including mystery writer Margaret Maron, who were signing books and talking to citizens, but mostly to speak about the difference they think libraries made in their own lives and works, and the crucial role they play in a democratic society.

Also on hand were library officials who addressed the issue of what would happen to the Cary Library, one of the most heavily-used libraries in the system (from what I heard they say about volume, I figured out that library checks out an average of 2,000 PER DAY).  The plans are to convert Cary Library into a 22,000 square foot regional library (that would make it slightly smaller than Eva Perry Library in Apex).  However, the Town of Cary plans to donate a part of its planned sculpture garden complex between Academy Street and Hunter Street to the library system to ensure that Cary Library stays in downtown Cary.  So the general idea is for it to move across the street on Academy Street, but to stay in approximately the same area. Yay!

For those in the book club, we had our appreciations displayed (in addition to the banner):

And returned!

It was a touching and inspiring community event.

PS--On a personal note, I don't know when I've had such an active nightlife (at least, since my swinging singles days in DC, which weren't all that swinging even back then).  And what a great variety of topics!  Monday night science, Tuesday history, Thursday math and science, and Friday literature.  That's one of the great things about get to cover it all!

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