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August 26, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No Loss of Words

Stairs and benches in Spain (Image: Xosema/

(Image: Xosema/

Almost a flip – then a flop.  Stubbed toe on that step.

Quickly she looked around.


No reason to feel embarrassed. Whew!

She knew she was early.

Planned it that way.

Must be first in line.

She looked thorough the wavy glass on the door – shadows or people moving there?

Nose to the door she searched.

Oh, a wave of acknowledgement from a blur.

Happy, she stepped back.

Obviously the entrance to Wonderland (Image: Rick Dikeman/

OH! A nose smudge. How could she be so careless.

They didn’t mind her coming so much. They knew she was quiet and considerate. And careful

A quick swipe. There. Better.

A careful glance around. Good. Still no one.

Maybe sit a bit.

The wide stone ledge was awfully hot. There was shade and a bench down the sidewalk

But no. The door would open soon.

She perched like a nervous bird.

Better not risk it.

Welcoming Beaux Arts style. Elegant design, stairs, and benches. Sigh. (Image: public domain, 2004. Dittwald1/WIKI)

Besides it looked like someone coming.

Oh, just that boy from down the block and his mom.

YEA! He was no competition. He was too much younger to worry about.

They settled on the bench in the shade much her relief – Not feeling like small talk.

Patterns moved across the glass.

Oh, the clacks of unlocking and she bolted in past the smile.

Click. Click. Click across the old wood floors.

Wood floor with heating grate in New Orleans. (Image: Infrogmation/

Speed walking, she rushed to the shelves.


Whirling took her to another spot. Then another.

All no. Not there. Nothing.

She faltered, disappointed.

Resigned, she begin an aimless wandering.

A repeat would have to do, again.

Her posture betrayed the lack of enthusiasm in her heart.

Then a pair of shoes intruded in her downcast line of sight.

It was held out to her.

Some observing might have chuckled it was like she was handed the Holy Grail and angels were singing.

Here the angels sing. (Image:Wolfgang Sauber/

The little green sticker on the spine proclaiming “new” – as if the unblemished cover and smell of fresh ink weren’t enough.

All the thanks the librarian needed was the smile and the rush to check the book out:

A new one. One not read yet.

And feet dancing out the door.

Now the bench in the shade was the destination. It being the closet quiet spot to begin the story.

This time the nose print was on a larger window: a window offering the world.

A tree. A bench. A book. What more is needed?
(Image: 4028mdk09/

And now the moral of the story?

While you may have internet, e-readers, book stores, or even, many in small isolated towns do not have access or the budget to purchase.

Libraries fill a critical need for these patrons, young and old.

But all libraries are also being crushed by budget cuts.

Here’s the deal: YOU can help.

  • It won’t cost you a thing
  • It won’t take up much time
  • It will make a huge difference

Mount Airy is a rural town (population of 10,000) in northwest North Carolina.

Downtown Mount Airy, NC (Image: 2008 pubic domain/WIKI)

Yep, it’s Mayberry from the Andy Griffith Show. Really.

This town was the real life inspiration with the main street downtown still looking very much like the 1950’s.

No big box stores.

The nearest Barnes and Noble is a hour’s drive away.

The poverty rate is high.

So if it’s a choice between paying bills and buying food vs putting gas in the car and driving so the kid can buy a new expensive book that will be read one time, guess which wins.

Still everyone needs food for thought.

So? Glad you asked!

Vote for the Mount Airy Library in the Lego Company’s contest for libraries.

The winning library will receive $5,000.00.

To some that is a small prize – but to this rural town’s library, it would be a fortune.

You do not have to register, give email or any personal info

Here’s the link and the instructions: (vote once a day until Oct 1)

  • Click:
  • Click; “Nominate your library”
  • Choose: State of North Carolina
  • Select: City of Mount Airy
  • VOTE: Library of Mount Airy Public Library

Children’s library shelves.

It would be great if some of those superstar entertainers or athletes would write a matching check. This amount would be less than some spend on one night of partying – yet would leave lasting rewards rather than a mess and a headache.

Libraries in today’s economy suffer plenty of headaches and heartaches.

But No library should be at a loss of words.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

FYI. I do not live in Mount Airy. (A local library is also in the contest, but they have other options/benefactors)

Here’s someone who does live in Mount Airy: Big Sheep Blog

Multiple generations of our family benefited from the wonders of a small town Carnegie Library.

If you don’t know what those were and who built them, you should.

A man who was clearly a 1%-er who gave away 90% of his vast fortune.

I was one of the kids that ran out of books to read.

I can’t do what he did, but I can click to vote.

So can you.

“Carnegie Libraries: The Future Made Bright”, National Parks Service. article. (Teaching Historic Places lesson plans included)

“Carnegie Library”, Short history, pictures, and legacy left by Andrew Carnegie.

Carnegie Library, Indiana. (Image: Rogerd/


  1. Patti / Aug 26 2012 10:32 pm

    Happily did it this morning. And I don’t live in Mt. Airy either, but the Big Sheep Blog post was very persuasive.


  2. Unconfirmed Bachelorette / Aug 26 2012 10:35 pm

    Done! Oh how I loved to go to the library when I was little. I can remember my mom telling me to get my nose out of that book and go outside and play.


  3. Spinster / Aug 26 2012 10:58 pm

    Reblogged this on Spinster's Compass and commented:
    Reading is one of my loves. No one should be deprived of the ability to read. Check this out and vote.


  4. jmmcdowell / Aug 27 2012 12:07 am

    We had a Carnegie library in my home town. I wonder how many books I checked out over the years…. Such great places!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2012 1:41 pm

      Those libraries are/were treasures: imposing elegant buildings anyone could go into anytime just crammed with books. The most welcoming entrances guarding yet freely offering the world of knowledge.
      You are right – such great places. Thanks for walking over to chat


  5. writingfeemail / Aug 27 2012 12:09 am

    Your posts are always thoughtful. This one hits close to home as Mount Airy is just a short drive from my home in North Carolina. We go through it every time we drive up to our farm in Virginia. And it is a lovely place – homey, real. Thanks for bringing attention to a sad truth – libraries need help badly!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2012 1:44 pm

      THis part of the country is so beautiful – it’s easy to forget that local residents may have difficulties with things people from more populated areas take for granted. Save the small we all have pleasant places to visit! Thanks for parking to chat.


  6. RAB / Aug 27 2012 1:06 am

    Bless you, Phil. What a shame that all those corporations and “people” so eager to dump millions into political races can’t spare a dime for free public libraries, the only true “open enrollment” universities.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2012 1:46 pm

      Well said.
      What if we all said “enough” for the campaign and just voted now…then used the money that would have been spent during a longer campaign for more worthy and necessary causes – like schools and libraries?
      Thanks for driving those ideas over!


  7. jmlindy422 / Aug 27 2012 2:10 am



  8. jannatwrites / Aug 27 2012 4:54 am

    Your posts are always informative/thought-provoking. You didn’t have to do much convincing to sell me on the importance of books and libraries.

    Why, yes, of course I voted 🙂


  9. EllaDee / Aug 27 2012 4:59 am

    Happy to click. Done. So much better as well as kid’s being able to read, that they enjoy reading as well. Libraries offer something for everyone – a place of book worship 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2012 1:54 pm

      No better place to explore than a library. (All the “reading comprehensive strategies techniques”, progress monitoring, and data collection in schools have pretty much eliminated that love of reading in kids – librarians are the last hope, there).
      Thanks for helping stock the shelves!


  10. pegoleg / Aug 27 2012 2:03 pm

    I came over from the Big Sheep blog – what a lovely tribute! I spent countless hours in our Carnegie library as a child, especially in the summer. It was my refuge and my delight. 50 years later, I still feel a contented, quiet thrill as I mount the broad, cool stone steps and enter the library.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2012 2:16 pm

      There’s just something about those steps – anyone who ever climbed them as a small child or sat on that solid stone understands.
      The architect understood the importance of the structure. Thanks for traveling over to check it out.


  11. Ally Bean / Aug 27 2012 8:55 pm

    Ditto what RAB said… and your follow-up comment as well.


  12. The Hook / Aug 27 2012 9:10 pm

    Incredible shots – and words! Libraries rule!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 28 2012 1:41 am

      The old Carnegie buildings that have survived are really fun to visit. Thanks for booking a trip over


  13. Elyse / Aug 27 2012 9:40 pm

    Wonderful, Phil.

    (And you sent me back in time. My childhood home had a heating grate like that! And a phenomenal library just down the road.)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 28 2012 1:44 am

      Did you think that monsters or fairies could come through the grates like we did? Those little details made those houses unique. Thank for checking the shelves here.


      • Elyse / Aug 28 2012 1:50 am

        I’m sure no monsters came through the grate at our house. My brother and I dropped all of our vegetables down it for about 5 years. I am pretty sure the monsters were busy eating!

        But those touches really do make places special. Nowadays, everything is so damn generic!


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 28 2012 2:28 am

          And dropping marbles down was fun…but they always made you stop that.


          • Elyse / Aug 28 2012 2:30 am

            That may be why our place wasn’t haunted — no marbles. Marley used marbles, didn’t he?????


  14. shoreacres / Aug 28 2012 5:11 pm

    And even better than going to the library – or just as good – was having the library come to us in the form of the bookmobile in the summer. I can’t remember for sure, but I recall that it came twice a week. We could check out five books, or maybe ten, but had to have them back the next time the bookmobile came. We couldn’t check out any other books until we’re returned what we already had.

    It was wonderful! As was our Carnegie library. I was even a junior librarian. I can still taste that paste!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 28 2012 7:44 pm

      Bookmobiles – rolling fun. (Now those were really tall steps!) During the summer we checked out books from both. Somehow all the books managed to get returned to the right place. Electronic books are fine – but there’s a lot of experiences the kids coming up will miss out on. Thanks for scheduling a top here.


  15. Robin / Aug 28 2012 8:34 pm

    What a wonderful thing the Lego Company is doing! I love libraries. I’m off to vote. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 28 2012 10:00 pm

      Legos and libraries: two great things for kids of all ages. Thanks for checking in to vote!


  16. roughseasinthemed / Aug 29 2012 6:21 am

    Haha! Another lego post with a difference. I love libraries too, especially as mine is just across the road 🙂

    Mount Airey looks to have a narrow lead as I’ve just made it 40220. Do you want to put a link on the sidebar, or at the end of every post? Otherwise, I for one will forget between now and 1 Oct.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 29 2012 2:00 pm

      Oh, you are right about the reminder – should have done that. Thanks for voting! (heading that way myself, now)


  17. PiedType / Aug 30 2012 1:40 am

    Voted. I spent many, many childhood days in the OKC public library way back when it was virtually the only air conditioned building in town. Always checked out the maximum number of books allowed. Love books. Love libraries.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 30 2012 2:32 am

      You are right- the libraries and science labs were the first places with AC in the schools, too. Thanks for voting – I’ll try to put up reminders – you can vote daily until Oct. All these votes are making a difference – thanks for helping to stock the shelves


  18. Kourtney Heintz / Sep 1 2012 3:17 am

    Thanks for reminding us that the modern things we come to think of as basic are not basic to many people. I ❤ libraries. Will vote for this tomorrow too!


  19. Margie / Oct 3 2012 5:36 pm

    I’ve lived in several communities where the only library was in a large closet or on bookshelves along a hallway. The only books were those that readers donated. We treasured each and every inch of those simple places!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 3 2012 6:25 pm

      One small town we lived in started a library (by popular demand) in a tiny room with creaky uneven floors – books on one side, gradually the shelves inched around the room. You took books to the city secretary to “check out”. Moms made sure books were returned on time – other kids wanted something to read. People donated books. Now the library has it’s own building with paid librarians. Guess all of us who were there at the beginning feel a special fondness for it.
      Small libraries are special places! Thanks for stopping by and stocking the shelves with your comments



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