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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Friends of the Gingerland Library

I just remembered this story as I was writing to my sister Julie tonight. I joined a book club here. They kind where you get together with people and discuss books. A couple of weeks ago we had our first meeting to discuss where our meetings would be and which books we were going to read. One woman in the club, Diane, is a member of The Friends of the Gingerland Library. They get donations for the library and go in and help organize things there. I think they are all mostly people from the U.S or Canada or other places who expatriate themselves to live here. There are two libraries here in Nevis. One in downtown that is quite crappy and one in Gingerland. Gingerland is about a straight line across the island from my house if you could go over the mountain. But since you can't it is about a 20 minute drive on "unimproved" roads as they call them. They are so pothole riddled that by the time you get to your destination you feel like a shaken baby. If you go the other way it is about a 30 minute drive. Either way it's a haul just to go to the "local" library. So anyway, that is the library we go to because it surprisingly has a really large childrens section. I have not looked around a lot in the adult section because I keep getting loaners from people that have kept me happy so far. So, back to Diane, she went in one day to the library and saw a new "New Books" shelf. She was so excited becuase the women who work there don't normally do a lot on their own. So she went over and looked at the books and they were all really old worn books. Not good, classic, old books but just old books that people donated because they were crappy books. So she asked them why they were on the shelf. They told her they were new. She opened one and showed them the copyright somewhere in the 1950's. She told them the book is not new and asked where they got them. They said they found them in the basement and considered them new because they have never been on their shelves. She didn't quite know what to say and asked them how they would know if it was time for them to be removed from the "New Books" shelf. They told her that when someone borrowed one and returned it, it would no longer be considered new and would go on the regular shelf with all the other books. This is so typical for Nevis. We have a library card there but they can never find it when we go in and they look at us as if we have never been there before. I'm pretty sure that they have not filed it in the right spot because they are not very literate. I don't care what the "literacy rate" is noted to be here. It is untrue. I asked the librarian the other day if they had any Magic Tree House books from the series and she looked at me funny. I told her they were by Mary Pope Osborne. She asked me how to spell it. She tried to repeat O-s-b-o-r-n-e but couldn't get it right. She went to a shelf and was looking for O-B-S and I kept telling her it was O-s-b but she wouldn't listen. So finally I found them on my own. All the ones that Julian has already read with the exception of one which is not the next in the series so he refuses to read it until he has read all the ones in between.

2 Comments:

  • Hey girl,

    Which Magic Tree House has he read? If we haven't gotten rid of all the ones we had, we may be able to send some down with Brian!!! If we did get rid of them, hard to tell, I don't keep a lot of old stuff (Goodwill) we can get them used off Amazon...let me know... then you guys can donate them to the Gingerland library. We already bought a ton of Sweet Valley Kids for the Elementary school...the one by the dorms...so it's no sweat...Love Ya ;) Dusti

    By Blogger Dusti, at 11:00 PM  

  • Of course, the MUA library is world-class, but it tends to be very narrow in terms of topics doesn't it? I had never even thought about Nevis having a library!

    By Blogger drdubg, at 6:35 AM  

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