Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Library

Technically it's the Monroe County Library, Key West Branch and it is said to be the oldest library in the state. It may well also be the prettiest.
Life in a  county 112 miles long and frequently less than half a mile wide presents a challenge when it comes to offering services. The library system does a remarkable job keeping branches open all along the island chain and you can order books through the computerized system for delivery. In the Lower Keys there is this the main branch with libraries also in Big Pine and Marathon.
I enjoy spending time in the library perusing the stacks and checking out the readers intent on their books. One gets a comforting feeling that as long as people crave reading all is not lost in our civilization.
I took this picture (below) in 2008  when public computing was still relatively new and clunky compared to our pocket computers today. The library now offers wi-fi as well as computer screens.
On my most recent visit the library had a bunch of ship dioramas scattered around the reading rooms and they were most enjoyable. They are on permanent display as of last October from the Key West Historical Society and they are the work of artist David Harrison Wright.
They are under glass and thus impossible to photograph with any hope of capturing even a tiny part of how beautiful and expressive they are.
 I loved the attention to detail and the short histories that accompanied each ship as part of the Society's drive to remind Key West of its fascinating maritime past.
 They need to be seen in person.
The library is a forum for local art of all kinds alongside the books and tapes and CDs.
Do Not Reshelve Books. I suppose we cannot be relied upon to do even that correctly. Mr Dewey would be disappointed.
The library is a refuge, often for homeless people with a day to spend once more accomplishing not much.
Also for people who want to get out of the heat to enjoy a serene and quiet place to think and browse or read (from 2008:). I like sharing the reading space surrounded by books and readers whoever they may be:
 Lots of parking for cars and bicycles and the occasional scooter too...
Though curiously enough there is lots of free scooter parking painted into Elizabeth Street outside the library. The library parking lot is gravel which is tough for motorcycle stands.
This picture from 2015 I add simply for effect: