Tell me

A realization struck me as I sat in the audience listening to Doctor Bruce Wells talk about happiness: I am living my life aligned to my passions and values. My employed work is to plan and organize library related events for the interest and benefit of our local community. It is a privileged position and while, in general, library work does align with my values associated with ethics, morals, and liberty, Dr. Wells made me realize that for me there is something deeper.

 

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Dr Bruce Wells at Frankston Library 16 April 2016

I love reading and books. I love being exposed to new ideas. I love to imagine other worlds and lives that exist between the pages. I love being told a good story. I love feeding my hunger for exploration and discovery. I love sitting at home in a comfortable chair absorbed in the latest good read. Working in a library, invites, supports and encourages others to read a good book and learn new things.

But it is my work that takes this one step further. What good are books full of treasured stories if they sit idly waiting on shelves gathering dust? What makes people pick it off the shelf and open the cover? It relies too heavily on serendipity. Library staff create displays and programs to highlight and celebrate books and themes in order to help people see what they don’t always know is there. (I read ebooks too and I am well aware of the new consumer habits associated with obtaining ebooks, but for this post I am focussing on our public libraries and print books. Many people don’t know that you can borrow an ebook for free from a public library; but that’s a whole other post).

But I go one step further. I invite authors to come along and speak at our library. What better way to bring books to life than to have the author there before you, in the flesh, to tell you more about their ideas?

Being told stories is a cherished human activity that goes back before books. Campfire stories are still a favourite thing to do when we can. The popularity of TED Talks is no surprise. We all love to hear something interesting. Then we might follow up this interest by exploring more on the topic.

So my realization was that I am able to share my own love of reading, books, and storytelling, by inviting authors to come and speak in person at our library. Local people can enjoy hearing stories told, and the writing craft explained, by the authors themselves. Books are thus brought to life. It is a true privilege for me to be in this position to be able to bring about this unique alchemy.

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Ali MC and Abe Nouk at Frankston Library 19 March 2016

These are the authors that I have organized speaking events for over the past year:

And these are the events that are coming up soon:

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1st life

Standing on the wet sand by the waters edge I talked to a friend about art. We soaked up the warmth of the perfect autumn day. Suddenly a dolphin appeared about 50 metres away. We paused to watch as its arched silhouette gradually disappeared into the golden dazzle. I’ve seen dolphins here before so it is not uncommon. Yet it always provides a spontaneous Zen moment. Who would want a Second Life when an excellent first life is there to be lived? Seeing a dolphin provides a Zen moment far superior than any Mindful Chime on Twitter.

 

The very next day gale force winds whipped the sea so ferociously that boats were wrecked; a dust storm choked the sky; power outages spread across the State; trees fell; traffic was gridlocked; and some people died.

 

The library without power was like a tomb. No power, no PC’s, no lifeblood of a modern day library. It was too dark to venture into the shelves, especially around 363.7 and 551.5. At least we could shelter as the wind raged outside.

 

Watch Sort of Dunno Nuthin’ by Peter Denahy to see how passionate one typical aussie teenager is about life.