To Sing My Own Praises by Dani Buehler

It is time to give thanks. And I know that this is a shameless plug for the library but aren’t you thankful our community has such an amazing library. True, I do work here, and I may be slightly biased, but, almost every week I am fortunate to receive praises for our splendid library. These compliments come from a cornucopia of people, the folks merely passing through Lewistown, the afterschool kiddos, the retirees, the parents of the working or stay-at-home type, or maybe it’s from the ever-present and ever-important books lovers (to mention only a few); in other words, the library receives praises from all members of our community. Therefore, in keeping with the season, I will give thanks for Lewistown because this community has remembered how important libraries are and continues to value this community hub.

My most recent read has me thinking about how important libraries are to a community and reminds me why I am thankful for libraries. In the book, “Dear Fahrenheit 451”, librarian extraordinaire Annie Spence has compiled various love letters or break-up notes to the books and collections of books she has encountered in her life. This witty and wry exposé is equivalent to a librarian “Tell All” narrative and has me laughing, crying, and reading excerpts to my husband on almost every page. Of course, I would find this book utterly amusing as it satirizes my life perfectly, oh librarians you truly are the funniest of all people. But, also, it reminded me of the must-read classic, Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”. This novel explores a host of topics, but the topic that hits home most directly for me, is the importance of books and libraries for the health of our human community. Bradbury captures this most poetically in the renowned quote, “Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”  Geez, Bradbury that is some heavy hitting stuff. Consequently, as an individual working in a library, I take this statement very seriously. I believe that it is my job to care for and curate our collective human memory. Not only that, I must provide fair and free access to this memory in this most democratic of institutions. Dang, I love my job.

So again, I find myself giving thanks. I am thankful I am a librarian. I am thankful that I get to encounter all members of this unique and well-loved community. I am thankful that each day I am challenged to be a part of the best library crew ever. I am thankful that I am tasked with providing a safe, comfortable, raucous, and engaging space for our community. I am thankful, and I think you are too.

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