mcj-2019-08-21-opinion-judy-crump

Judy Crump

Libraries have been around almost as long as people have. If you consider a library a collection of records, then the earliest known one has been found in Babylon, dating back to more than 2000 BC. From then onward, libraries as collections of records and writings have flourished throughout the world, in every culture.

Libraries weren’t always treated well. In ancient China, for example, one emperor ordered that all records and writings from before his rule be destroyed so that history would be shown to have begun with his rule. Then there was the famous Library of Alexandria in ancient Greece, which is believed to have contained 40,000 to 50,000 scrolls at its peak, which was huge. The Library of Alexandria has the dubious honor of having been partially burned by Julius Caesar (by accident), and later by Romans, Christians and Muslims. The remains of the once-famous library were vandalized and largely demolished in 391 AD.

The earliest libraries in the U.S. followed the lead of ancient libraries and were only available to library members or subscribers. But in 1790, the first free public library was founded in Franklin, Pennsylvania, based on a gift of 116 books from Benjamin Franklin. The public library continued to grow, with many libraries founded across the nation in following decades, many by wealthy men such as Andrew Carnegie.

Amory’s library has been open for about 60 years, first in the old city hall and later in the modern building we have today. And now a person doesn’t have to subscribe or be a member in order to borrow books from the library: A free library card makes everything available.

So what’s new for adults?

“Training School for Negro Girls,” by Camille Acker – a collection of short stories about black women.

“Waiting for Daybreak,” by Kathryn Cushman – a Christian romance.

“The Summer Wives,” by Beatriz Williams – a post-WWII novel about love and money.

“The Reckoning,” by John Grisham – the story of a WII hero, a shocking crime, and, of course, the legalities.

“The Teacher’s Bride,” by Kathleen Fuller – another Amish romance.

“Liar, Liar,” by Candice Fox (idea by James Patterson) – the third of four books in the Harriet Blue series.

“Clock Dance,” by Anne Tyler – a novel of family and self-discovery from a Pulitzer Prize-winner.

“John Woman,” by Walter Mosley – a departure from his usual hard-boiled detective fair to an unusual novel about the stories we tell and how they shape our reality.

“The Ninth Hour,” by Alice McDermott – a slow-paced love story involving Brooklyn Catholic nuns and a death that ricochets through many lives.

“The Sisterhood,” by Helen Bryan – a love story and historical thriller that roves from the present to the Spanish Inquisition.

“Man of War,” by Sean Parnell – a military thriller about a clandestine operative’s attempts to recover a stolen nuclear weapon.

“The Lost Girls of Paris,” by Pam Jenoff – a story of the courageous women who helped the Allies win WWII by serving as spies in Nazi-controlled areas.

The library is open during regular hours, Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and is closed on Sundays. Free regular programs are Pre-School Story Time each Thursday at 10:15 a.m. and Lunching With Books on the third Tuesday of the month.

The Amory Municipal Library is located at 401 2nd Ave N. Call us at 256-5261 or fax to 256-6321.

Judy Crump is a member of the Amory Municipal Library Board of Directors.

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