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Musings on the Library from a Friend


Can I just say it? Boy do I miss the library. I mean, I know it is still open with some limitations on hours and the staff are doing everything they can to deliver as much of their regular services as they can while protecting everyone’s safety. But boy do I miss the full library experience we in Norwood have been lucky enough to enjoy for so many years, and boy am I excited for when things can get back closer to normal!

For those who don’t know me, my name is Dan Corzilius and I’m the President of the Friends Of The Norwood Library. Our little volunteer charitable group seeks to raise money for our beloved library, put on interesting programming for our community and financially support lots of other library resources. Anyone is welcome to become a member by signing up and paying the membership dues. You can do that anytime, though many folks find it convenient to send in the form and payment each December when we include a buck-slip in the Norwood Light Bill.

Breaking News: on St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday March 17, come dine-in or take-out from The Chateau Restaurant to support the Friends! A portion of the profits from all orders where you mention the Friends will go straight to our organization and from there straight to supporting our library!

The Friends are also the ones who put on (or used to, and will again soon!) the twice-yearly BIG book sale in the Simoni Room as well as the ongoing book sale carts that you see when walking into the library. MORE Breaking News: we’ve just set up a pandemic-safe “honor system” ongoing book sale where you can choose a book and leave payment in a cash box you’ll see attached to the cart.

Why do The Friends take on this volunteer role?  Well, aside from the raw political power one wields with a title like President of the Friends of the Library… we do it because we love the institution and all the hard-working staff who make it so special. Just think of what the library (especially when it gets back to full strength in the months ahead) does for all of us.

It is, of course, still a place where one can peruse a massive collection of good old-fashioned books and even borrow them for a fee of precisely $0.00. But it is also a hub for technology (computers, free wifi, scanning, printing, electronic searches of databases around the globe, etc.). And it’s a place where you can ask a skilled and professional librarian for help with anything you may be researching, and a place for parents to bring their kids for all sorts of programming. And it’s also a place for adult programming too, including speakers, movies, interactive presentations, lessons, music… you get the idea. Put simply, our library is a true and vibrant community hub.

But I suspect most of you know all that. My point is more about how much I miss it and how much I bet you do too. This last year has been like no other in most of our lifetimes. And yet our library adapted as well as anyone could hope to the challenges of this pandemic era. The library was already maintaining a very “technology forward” stance and was able to carry on and build upon that with regard to many of its services and to fulfill its role in the community. Still, at least for me, there’s just something about in-person interaction.

Sure, the library has hosted many virtual events, and even the Friends, in conjunction with the library, held a Zoom event last fall with a favorite speaker of ours, Ted Reinstein of WCVB’s Chronicle. It was a great night as Ted took us on a virtual tour around New England to see and hear about lots of wonderful and little known elements of the area. But how much better will it be when we can actually come together in the same room for a fun night out, seeing a speaker like Ted in person again?

Sure, you can still ask our excellent Reference, Circulation and Children’s Librarians for assistance via phone, chat or email, but how great will it be to know you can walk right up to their respective desks and talk directly with them throughout all of the library’s full schedule of hours, not to mention being able to directly interact with the rest of the library’s talented and dedicated staff?

I don’t know about you all, but I must admit, I’m getting to be a bit “Zoomed” out. Thank goodness that we’ve been able to use such technology to stay in touch, but I, for one, am looking forward to a time when we can maybe shake hands, pat someone on the back, share a laugh with no machines needed to bridge the gap.

So here’s to our beloved library, librarians and staff. Here’s to the library’s outgoing Director, Charlotte Canelli after her many years of hard work and dedication. And here’s to our wonderful new Director, Clayton Cheever, who is just coming onboard with great enthusiasm and exciting new ideas. Here’s to all of us, and here’s to a bright new future for Norwood and its proud institution: the library.

Dan Corzilius is the President of the Friends of the Norwood Library in Norwood, MA. Look for his article in the February 11, 2021 issue of the Transcript and Bulletin.


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