Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Chalon Library

Dickens volumes in the Chalon stacks.
CHALON IN THE SUMMER is down to the few regulars, including the librarians and year-round staff. One of my favorite regulars is Paul Martin, who has been on the Porch near the College Archives doing some writing.

Paul has a wonderful blog, The Teacher's View, in which he ruminates on books, reading, literature, and the life of the mind. In the world of digital noise, he's virtually a throwback; his blog reminds me of my favorite senior honors seminars when I was a Lit. major in the last century.

I was delighted to find his post last month titled "Joy," about the very library I work in. Here's an excerpt that I hope will inspire others to read the whole:
The first floor is my destination. The stacks. Far side, a long narrow room of tables, shelves of art books, and windows with a view of the Pacific Ocean only a few miles away. This is where I belong, my home. Outside the window, a twisted pine stands sentinel. I am the monk at my wooden table dedicated to a life of study and reflection, staring out the window at the world. Here I can think, reconsider, revise. Here, there are no cell phones or computers. Here, paper and leather binding rule the world.
The photo is one I took in those same stacks. Thank you, Paul, for exactly capturing this wonderful place, and reminding me of why this job is such a gift. May I never take it for granted.

Speaking of monks, I'm off to St. Andrew's Abbey in Valyermo for a few days. Those Benedictines, the guys who saved civilization, know a thing or two about how paper and leather binding rule the world.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Vicky, for your patience with my questions about the archives and preservation work, and for welcoming me into the Coe Library. I wish you peace and joy on your retreat.

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  2. Thanks, Paul. Lots of intentions coming with me. I'll look forward to our next chat about books etc. God bless you and Silvie.

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