The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review of: The Amery Public Library

“Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnished me/From mine own library with volumes that/I prize above my dukedom.” Prospero, from The Tempest, Act One, Scene II, by Wm. Shakespeare Review of: The Amery Public Library By Tim Krenz Prospero, Shakespeare's hero in The Tempest, lost all in exile, including his princely power as Duke of Milan. He may have lost most of his library as his brother, Antonio, stole his city-state, but Prospero retained enough of his precious collection for a study of vengeance into the sorcerer's powers, to punish those who stole him from all his known world of good living and peace. In a more positive, modern drama, in a pursuit of peace and not a vengeful sorcery after one loses their power, how can communities ensure the preservation of libraries, and guarantee the continued, unqualified good they add to living? The Amery, Wisconsin, Public Library, passing from a transition over the last four years, provides a model for how libraries can thrive into a Post-Historical Age, and commit themselves now and into tomorrow for the saving of wisdom and the creation of better things to come. Freedom to learn, and to learn truth, builds peace through the informed living and participation in civilization. In all its aspects, humane and enlightened understanding create goodwill, and help everyone as a result. By implication, libraries serve as ramparts against the ignorance and apathy that hurt all, not just those who choose to “not know and not care.” As a contention, libraries can save us from becoming the fodder of ignorance and apathy that feeds the furnace of our self-destruction. Libraries do service by maintaining a mix of the young and the old, in their collections of materials as well as in the patrons who use them. And in the present, a gap gets bridged between the “passed” and the “coming,” united by doing the “now.” Classics, contemporary, current, and cutting edge strike the balance of an institution devoted to preserving the foundations of knowledge, and encouraging the innovation that walks as the handmaid of civilization's survival. Sometimes, like all things, libraries must surpass the limits of either the space they fill or their current time in history. In this manner, the public library of Amery, long a great pride of the community, and one recognized nationally for excellence among small town libraries, took the place and future of its existence off the horns of the ageless dilemmas of decay and irrelevance. In Fall 2008, the library moved from its old quarters past its use, on the south-side of the city, and moved into a renovated portion of the old red-brick hospital, left vacant by the latter's move to an modern facility. To accomplish this end, the city government secured a half-million dollar loan from a local bank, to fund the remodeling of, transportation to, and the set-up of, the library in the “old new” building three blocks closer to the business district. As the library director, James Fehlen, related, with justifiable pride, the library and its foundation have already paid back an excess of $256,000 on the loan. Done with memorial gifts—including bronze sponsorship plaques on the light-blonde, square wooden pillars around the library which support the low-ceiling of the large central stacks—only the involvement of a dedicated group of citizens, such as the 100-member Friends of the Library, make possible this true “people's library.” Without need to create a royal palace befitting a status-crazed king, or an artistic tomb for the dead-taste of a dying society , the Amery Public Library repaid the trust of its supporters to do an attractive and economy-minded upgrading of a long-venerated institution. Marvelous in the deep maroon on the long walls, the slight accents in the carpet, and the subtle light-varnished wood-work, reflecting the off-white ceiling and the banks of strong, soft light above, all of it the matching the simplicity and comfort of its furniture, the Amery library has a style of elegant ease and an enduring, durable investment. From its former status of an independent library (with which it did quite well), Amery's library since January 1, 2012, functions as part of the integrated MORE regional library system, at no detriment to itself. In fact, by adding its 65,000-plus items to the system, it contributes much in a net benefit to itself and others in the Valley, outweighing any loss by joining. All of its collection amounting to an unusually large size compared to other libraries in the St. Croix Valley, Amery has found appeal among other system patrons by virtue of its large Audio-Visual section (including VHS tapes and cassette audios—since people still use such formats). It also has a large and highly popular Manga graphic-comic-novel collection, most of them of Japanese or Korean origin, with some of US origin. A library may have materials, and like Prospero's books, people would do well to treasure them. Yet, a library only exists in history for one reason—to serve the needs of those who sustain them. In that vein, Amery has plans to serve the young and old with the expansion of its digital loan services, and it has just hired a new Youth Services director to complement its large youth quarter well stocked with literature, and a quarter studded with early literacy stations, funded and donated by the Friends of the Library. These improvements match its ambitions for expanded young and adult service programs, including the continued delivery of materials by volunteers to those living in the city unable to visit the library. What we call the old-ways and the young-ways of how libraries function might lose distinction if we recognize that libraries ultimately serve the “NOW!” From its conservancy-of-books program, also funded by the Friends, (check out the restored Standard Polk County Atlas from the 1910s), to the dozen or more regulation chess boards and sets placed throughout, the simple purist way a library can enrich the spirit and mind abounds in the large, one-level Amery Public Library. Unlike Prospero's exile, he having only a few of his treasured books, humanity can act pro-actively to preserve a sense of home and a community which sustains its identity into the future. In searching for the higher truths not now understood, helping libraries continue and to grow leads humanity toward that goal of personal truth, and into a fellowship of empathy and peace, if pursued with honesty. Amery Public Library, as a “people's library,” done well, always has worked for that end. And it works for that end, “NOW!”

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Hollyhock Winter Pory Swoon

Published February 5, 2013 From: The Lost Papers of Pi Kielty By (Posthumously): Pi Kielty Hollyhock Winter Pory Swoon Inching one picture glass and windowless view, holly-bush-hocks blooming late, a-spined veins in summers deep vain pink bloom, they wither over end, fallowing the autumnal cool. The farm's ranch house wall clears, trimmed to my sad inner window outward, a real garden yard world, brown, brown, picked and prickly, stored or consumed. Glassen look, though un-shattered, taken now void, a soundful wind, crystallyne night in icy gloom, remembering pale death, for colorless buds whited seed, exchanged to winter's dooms. Chill-paid dues in February fields with frigid Wisconsin driftened flats, those flying night dunes, do pawn my time for a hollyhock soon. Holler prayer, praising future vibrance to rejoin, color my light red window south true, and relove the favored flowers, and a garden full at season's noon.