A place where everyone is welcome

Published 9:00 am Monday, September 25, 2017

By John Maruskin

The third Tuesday of every month I meet with about 20 to 30 other representatives of local and regional human services organizations where we share ideas we can use in our work and advertise events and programs that may be useful to other member organizations.

Stories we share at those meetings are moving and frequently troubling. They often portray people who face daily difficulties that make them hopeless. Nothing seems possible, so everything is impossible.

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One continual theme of those stories is difficulties: difficulties finding situations and opportunities for advancing education; difficulties pursuing goals lost because of tragic accidents or unfortunate personal mistakes; the incredible difficulty of simply having a quiet place to consider positive possibilities.

At this month’s meeting it occurred to me that providing a space to overcome those difficulties is one of the best and most important services libraries provide. Libraries are centers for life-long learning. There is no subject in the universe that a library cannot help a person pursue.

A library is a place where everyone is welcome to come in and start to re-discover old goals and ideals or to discover new ones. And, most ideal, a library provides a clean, quiet, comfortable and thoughtful place where anyone can simply sit in quiet, relax, and organize their thoughts.

It’s been said that from confusion comes enlightenment. Anyone can recognize the validity of that statement. A library provides the quiet space to sort out the confusion and the information that leads to enlightenment.

I once heard a music commentator obsequiously marveling about a young Navajo boy winning a prestigious guitar competition. When he asked the boy how he learned to play so beautifully without instruction, the boy replied he went to the library and got books.

There are about 85,000 books and a lot of helpful people at the Clark County Public Library. Come in, explore the collection, get a comfortable seat, relax, read, think. Many people have had the happy surprise of finding themselves in a library book.

Programs this week

The Local History Potluck Dinner Program is this Thursday, Sept. 28, Supper 6:15 p.m., Program 7 p.m. Mrs. Kandie, Adkinson, Office of the Secretary of State Land Acquisition Office presents How Kentucky was Settled, Early Land Acquisition.

It’s important to know how early Kentucky settlers acquired land. Mrs. Adkinson, who has 40 years of experience with land patent records, will discuss the availability of documents associated with early land patents in Clark County.

Bring a dish and join your friends for this interesting program. It is free and open to the public. You may come at 6:50 p.m. if you prefer not to enjoy the potluck, Either way, register by calling 744-5661 or, using Evanced on the library’s web site, www.clarkbooks.org.

Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2 p.m., Kentucky Picture Show presents “Gifted” a (2017) film about Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, who is drawn into a custody battle with his mother. Rated – PG-13

Friday, Sept. 29, Write local splits infinitives like a cyclotron does atoms … but then recombines them correctly.

Next Tuesday, October 3, 6:30 p.m., CCPL’s Writer Series continues with Tamera Rehnborg’s presentation, Spiritual Writing: Inner Terrain. This workshop is limited to 20. Please bring writing materials. Register to attend by calling 859-744-5661 or by using the Evanced program registration system at www.clarkbooks.org

Beautiful reading weather we’re having. The sunsets are perfect for getting carried away by a book.

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.