Saturday, January 11, 2014

Blog of the Last Harbor Library: five reasons

This is the first post of the blog within a blog of The Last Harbor Public Library. For details concerning this project consult here. You can also view this fictional blog over on its dedicated site, here. I will be double posting.

The imperious leader of our library has instructed me to write an official blog. This is that blog, the blog of The Last Harbor Memorial Library. Our head librarian, benefactor, and local tyrant, Amelia Browning, who issued these instructions, is pictured above. Seized with initiative I have leapt to work on this blog and from this moment on intend to keep you fully informed as to every unimportant thing that happens here at the library. Perhaps you are wondering if I am approaching this blog in the proper spirit, if this is what Ms. Browning had in mind to represent The Last Harbor Memorial Library, the finest library on the viciously cold and nearly abandoned shores of Lake Superior. I don't know, but I will grant you that it would perhaps be fair to present to you the discussion of my instructions so that you can decide for yourself.


"Yes, Amelia" A frown at my response. Perhaps she would prefer to be called Ms Browning. Perhaps her wrist was bothering her.

"I'd like you to start one of these "blogs", for the library." She said "blogs" like it was a word that did not belong in her mouth.

I regarded her. "Why is the head of one of the most technology averse libraries in the country suggesting I write a blog?"

"I am not technology averse. We have the Internet." She said, waving a disdainful backhand at our barely enough share of computers.

"You loathe them."

"They are useful tools. Nothing more."

"A blog?" I asked.

"We need to communicate better with our next generation." I believe Ms. Browning considers there to be only two generations. I, at 40, belong to the inscrutable, immature one. "Library Journal speaks well of them and I thought you would be suitable for this endeavor."  Aha. Library Journal magazine has a biblical like authority with Ms. Browning. Unless she doesn't agree with what they have to say, in which case whatever article is involved ceases to have ever existed. Why the "Every Library should have a Library Blog" article made it to the biblical side of things is the subject of this initial blog post.

"Okay." I said cheerfully.

 She looked at me with suspicion and headed towards her accustomed information desk to decide whether the latest Booker prize winner was of adequate quality for our library. But before she got very far she stopped, turned, and said "Try to put in a good word for Literature, Nathaniel."

"Will do ma'am." I said, tipping an imaginary hat.

And she was gone, if about 70 feet away can be considered to be gone.

Because our library is privately endowed, overstaffed, and pretty well empty due to Winter and our unpopular commitment to quality in our circulating materials, I have had a great deal of time to consider the mysterious reasons behind this blog request. Fortunately I feel free to give full reign to my imaginations here because Amelia Browning will never, ever actually read this blog. Which, of course, is part of the curiosness of why she would ask one to be written.

I have come up with five reasons.

1. She is ready to make some compromises in the battle for Literature, so long as she needn't dirty her hands.

2. Like one of Bertie Wooster's aunts she feels I need improvement and engagement.

3. She has occasional fits in which she is under the illusion that our library is "With It" because we have the Internet and carry Catcher in the Rye.

4. She thinks that despite the fact that our library, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is the most famous building of any kind on Minnesota's North Shore, a National Landmark, and virtually the only tourist attraction in our town, people are so immersed in their Internet that they have yet to hear of it.

5. She has not the faintest idea of what a blog is, and has decided to bluff her way through.

Whatever her reasons The Last Harbor Memorial Library now has a blog. You should be able to find it on our website as our website is so threadbare it will be easy to pick out. You can also follow us, by email, if you fill in the box to the right. I must go now as I have a patron to help. No, my mistake. It is just Lawrence, who has confused our Frank Lloyd Wright building with the True Value Hardware store once again. Still, I believe my assistance may be required.



  1. I wonder what books Amelia is standing in front of.

    1. This will be answered in quite a bit of detail as part of the second post of The Last Harbor Library Blog.


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