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.


  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.

  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.