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In Ian Sansom’s novel The Case of the Missing Books, librarian Israel Armstrong endures an exhausting journey from London to assume his new job as the manager of a branch library in Northern Ireland, only to find the branch “closed until further notice”. His reaction:
“There is a terrible poignancy about a building intended for the public that is closed to the public: it feels like an insult, a riposte to all our more generous instincts, the public polity under threat, and democracy abandoned…no one likes to see a shut library.”
After several failed bond referenda in the 1930s and 1940s, Ralph Hanes, Meade Willis and their friends got on the phone and raised the money to build the Twin City a new library. When this building, designed by architect Luther Lashmit, opened in 1953, it was the most modern, cutting edge public library in the South. Lashmit spoke that year at the American Library Association’s national convention. R.J. Reynolds’ son Dick and his sisters donated the land. The building was constructed using private funds.
Some of the hundreds of NC Room boxes still waiting for transfer to storage.
Our recycle bins have been overflowing for weeks, despite being emptied every few days.
Our box list will help us retrieve books for shelving sometime in 2017.
All books are gone from our locked cage. Materials in archival boxes still await transfer.
Meanwhile, back at our new home in the Government Center, we inch ever closer to looking like a real library department while our windows reflect the long lines of early voters.
Stay tuned for more updates. We are NOT YET open and cannot say for sure when the reopening will occur…think sometime in the second week of November.