Memories of the Raymond Library

A blurb on my memories of the Raymond Library

There are certain places in Montville that I wish I could have photographed in depth before they were renovated or closed - the drive-in, Izzy's general store, the pharmacy in Montville Manor - to name a few.  

There are so many changes in our town but one true gem that still has the characteristics of yore is Raymond Library.  

I took some time to photograph some old books and things one day while my children were at story hour.  I remember going to story hour in 1977.

Mrs. MacGregor was the instructor. She was very gentle and had a beautfiul golden-haired bun on top of her head. We would all pick out a piece of carpet square and settle in for a story.  

Our mothers would head upstairs or out to their car for peace and quiet while she read to us.  I loved this story hour. We also would also make a craft and I remember making half of walnut shell ornament with a mouse inside. I think I still have it...

Story hour is still held in the same section of the library. The carpet squares were ruined in the flood and parents stay with their children for the duration of the program.  

We are currently working on renovating and computerizing the library.  I am ambivalent about it because I love the charm in the old ways... But, realistically, it needs to serve the public in an up-to-date world. 

The old card catalog will be online.  I loved flipping through the cards in their type-written print.  I also was so delighted the first time I got to sit downstairs and check out books when I was the children's librarian in 2005.  

I got to use the stamper!  This was honestly - and might sound funny to you - a dream come true.  I watched - fascinated - the bulky stamp hit the red ink pad and tattoo the due date on the card. I loved the quickness of their speed - they the way the ink rolled onto the book signifying that it was mine for two weeks. I loved presenting my big blue library card - the first identification a 5-year-old could possess.  It was as thrilling to me as getting my license.  Now, there are computers and scanners but the ink pad and stamper are still there!

I photographed some books that I remember taking out as a child.  I looked back on some of the cards to see how long they have been in circulation.  Do you have a favorite from the past?  Do you remember taking the books out?  Share your memories with us.   

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tery dombrowski May 23, 2012 at 09:36 PM
I still remember my library card number....9118...I can hear the pencil stratching of my number being written in the book by the check out lady..... You are a great writer!!
Laurie Stevens May 24, 2012 at 08:40 AM
Love it ! Great story , I miss home and remember how excited I was too when I got my blue library card :)
Michelle Westkamper May 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM
thanks, jason! i wish i had more time to do more!
Michelle Westkamper May 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM
tery - thank you so much! that means a lot coming from such a great writer as you are!
Michelle Westkamper May 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM
laur- thanks! we miss you too!


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