Phil's Gratitude Diary
April 11, 2020
It’s been another week of inspiring phone calls with library supporters. In one of my conversations, a donor whose great passion is world travel exclaimed, “Now the only travel available to me is through books. Thank God for books!”
I think anyone who has ever found themselves lost in the intricacies of a plot or in the mind of a well-written character has felt this way: grateful for the chance to experience something outside of themselves, made bigger through a story. But now, with travel limited—even travel to a grocery store or a restaurant—novels, memoirs, poetry collections, essays … these have become the ways in which we can experience the world outside of our homes, even if just in our minds. Thank God for books, indeed.
Another donor was lamenting the difficulties of homeschooling, difficulties new to this donor and amidst an already stressful time. We talked about the role of our library both before the virus and after: how, with schools closed, libraries have stepped up in a big way for our children as resources of entertainment (when mom just needs an uninterrupted moment to draft a work email) and of education (who remembers geometry anyway?). Our library is not just the “people’s university” anymore; it’s the people’s kindergarten, grade school, middle school, and high school as well.
I’ve been sharing in both the unexpected pleasures and frustrations of this new time. We’re all feeling the full weight of the uncertainty we’re living under, but I’ve found there’s something magical, something deeply human that happens when someone says to another: “You know, I feel that way, too.” Whenever you find yourself encountering something new these days, you can take strength in the fact that another person, another Friend is feeling the same.