I also shared about saying goodbye to our precious Roxie. We still miss her a great deal, but another sweet dog came to us in need of adoption, so we welcomed her into our home! This little gal didn't come with any history or details other than she was picked up in Las Vegas, New Mexico -- a little east of the Sante Fe National Forest -- and she's about two years old.
They documented her as a Chihuahua mix, and it quickly became clear to us that she's got some Shiba Inu in her and possibly some Basenji based on her expressions, mannerisms, and coloring. So, we're calling her a Shi-hua-nji for now. (grins)
One thing for sure, she has blessed our home abundantly, and our children are absolutely in love with her. She's about 1/4 the size of the dog we previously had, so it's been fun adjusting to a very affectionate and super-intelligent lap dog. We're thrilled to have her, though, and she truly is a God-send.
She even made her first visit inside a library yesterday, which brings us to today's post...
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The Public Library Is Open!
I have always held great esteem for the public libraries, and I spent a a lot of time there as a girl, especially when there was one just a few blocks from where I lived. So many things are learned through books at a library, and I know many professionals (jugglers, ventriloquists, lawyers, scientists, doctors, teachers, etc.) who first learned about their profession during a visit to a library.
As a former elementary teacher and a current author, books are a definite passion of mine, and I love to inspire the love of literacy and reading in children of all ages -- even adults. We never stop learning until the day we die, and the library is an amazing resource to provide us with fuel for our imaginations and minds.
Not many know about this little library in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Nearly everyone has heard of the Boston Public Library, though. It was America's first large public library, but it wasn't legally established until 1852, nineteen years after the one in New Hampshire opened. The Peterborough Town Library was founded at a town meeting on April 9, 1833. (178 years later, my son was born, so we celebrate his birthday today as well! But that's just a little side note from me.)
The person most responsible for the founding of the Peterborough Town Library was Abiel Abbot, a local Unitarian minister. Abbot was also responsible for founding several other libraries including the Juvenile Library in Peterborough and the Library Company of Peterborough. In 1965 on the bicentennial of Abbot's birth the New Hampshire State Legislature passed a resolution recognizing Abbot's role in founding the "first free public library in the world supported by taxation". The resolution also requested that the President of the United States and the Postmaster General issue a postage stamp to commemorate the bicentennial of Abbot's birth.
“The ancient manners were giving way. There grew a certain tenderness on the people, not before remarked,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson of this period. The 1830’s was a time of social ferment in New Hampshire, as it was throughout the Northeast.
It was a time of active improvement, of the belief that “society must direct mankind towards moral perfection.” There was the temperance movement, educational reform, the beginnings of the anti-slavery movement, labor movement, prison reform and humane treatment of the mentally ill. It was a decade which witnessed a proliferation of religious denominations and utopian movements.
It was a period of sincere belief in mankind’s innate goodness, the belief that moral perfection could be influenced by one’s environment, by exposure to good thoughts, music, and books. It was a time when Dr. Abbot’s innovative thoughts on books and education received a receptive hearing. He gave practical expression to an idea, the tax-supported public library, hardly second in importance to the public school itself.
In 1873 the growing collection of books was moved to the Town Hall, a move intended to be permanent. However, by 1890, there were six thousand books and not nearly enough space for books and users. Several citizens, foreseeing this difficulty, had begun to work quietly toward the goal of giving the library collection its own building and providing land and funds for its construction. The distinguished Peterborough engineer, George S. Morison, constructed the building at the junction of Main and Concord Streets for the collection.
The Peterborough Town Library’s claim to importance is not that it was the first library to which the public had access, for such libraries had existed before 1833. Rather, its importance rests in its being created on the principle, accepted at Town Meeting, that the public library, like the public school, was deserving of maintenance by public taxation and should be owned and managed by the people of the community, who thereby ceased to be dependent upon private munificence. In this, the Peterborough Town Library was the first – and has, since its founding in 1833, been an integral element of the Peterborough community’s identity.
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NOW IT'S YOUR TURN:
* Do you own a library card? Why or why not?
* Are you aware of the public library in your area?
* How involved have you been in the past or are you now with the events sponsored by your local library?
* What did you like most about today's post?
Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood, when she was accused of having a very active imagination and cited with talking entirely too much. Today, she has honed those childhood skills to become an author and speaker who works in the health & wellness and personal development industry, helping others become their best from the inside out. She is also an educational consultant with Usborne Books.
She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, along with their two children and their Shiba Inu / Chihuahua mix in Colorado. She has sold twenty (21) books so far and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, and LinkedIn.