Michael Rosen

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December 2011 Archives

I grew up in Rutland, Vermont.
Rutland Library.png

I attended Lincoln School for a part of my elementary education, then Northeast for the rest, then Rutland Junior then Rutland Senior High School. And all the time, for nearly as long as I remember, I sat hours then more at the Rutland Free Public Library.

Back before the Internet, maybe back before color TV, back in the days of card catalogs and Jimi Hendrix and Pete Seeger.

I had to write a report on my favorite animal, sometime in the Northeast days, and the Library had books on lions. With pictures. With explanations.

I grew up believing books are sacred. Books needed to be stacked and shelved right side up, with respect. The way books are bound best is art. Silence was to be kept so people could focus on what they were reading. Librarians were heroes devoted to the mysteries of the word. Authors, those mysterious people far away from my hometown, put down these words and their words ended up on our Rutland Free Public Library shelves.

So later in my life, I went off and wrote books. And one day I went to the online card catalog for the Rutland Public Free Library, hoping to see my What Else But Home there: like going home again.

My book wasn't there. So I clicked again on the Library's website and wrote to the librarians and introduced myself and asked that they might consider adding What Else But Home to their collection. I wrote about my report on lions. I wrote about the hours and the sanctity inside the walls of their building. About riding my bike to the library. About my parents' office down the block.

A senior librarian wrote back. He told me that the Library only purchases books in the first year of their release. That I was out of luck.


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