Bowling Green, KY -- Public Library -- August 14, 2007

Look! It's a chair inspired by Ronald Dahl's story, James and the Giant Peach. The sculptor is the minister who preaches at the Episcopal church next door. It was created in memory of Feris Vanmeter, a donor who has done a lot for the library.

When I told the librarians about my project everyone's first thought was that I should be brought to the chair--this was something that showed the love people in their community have for reading. Look at the very bottom of the pit--you can see James.

These days, though Ronald Dahl continues to be a well-loved author, the kids are devouring, in addition to Harry Potter, Junie B. Jones, by Barbara Park; The Magic Tree House, by Mary Pope Osborne, graphic novels, and Lemony Snicket.

Pictured with the chair is librarian and James and the Giant Peach lover, Katie, who has just finished her degree in Library Science from Western Kentucky University. She enjoys working with the public—she’d been a lifeguard before—and loves the complete randomness of questions that come to her. While some of the questions are expected, such as requests regarding genealogy, the other day a child came in to learn how to build a time machine. They actually were able to find him some directions.

Her favorite books of all time--The Good Earth, by Pearle S. Buck; To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee; and Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls, which was the first book she read as a kid that made her go, oh wow.

Another favorite sculpture--Charlotte. In the background, note the mother and her child. The library was filled with mothers with their children. I arrived in time for story time and, for the second time in the span of so many days, I got to be read to, to get out of my shell and do arm movements, hand gestures, sing along.

The stories were all based around apples and we all practiced shaking the tree and naming all the colors that apples can be.

Here's Ms. Robyn reading, in front of a beautiful mural that filled the entire wall--wish I'd thought to ask the name of the artist. Her favorite book--Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss.

While this room here is for the kids, the library also has a cafe area, a la Barnes and Nobles/Borders, intended to draw people into the library so they feel comfortable. If bookstores can do it, so can libraries.

In addition to the main library, the town also has a branch located in the old train depot. It's unique from the main branch in that it houses the town's technology center--lots of computers with internet access--and has a Spanish language story time as well as English language story times. The Hispanic population has increased by 42.3 percent in the past year. The town also has a growing Bosnian population and, naturally, has a small collection of books written in the Bosnian language, as well!

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