Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hot Spots: The Wellfleet Public Library

Question: How is the Wellfleet Public Library like a fireball?

Answer: It comes on strong, and the pleasant spicy taste lingers long after you begin.

The Friends of the Wellfleet Public Libraries just published their summer newsletter. Inside patrons will find a calendar of events. An astounding 50 are already scheduled from June 3 to September 13, and it’s interesting stuff: Wednesday, June 14, Reuel Wilson speaks about “Growing up on Cape Cod with Edmund Wilson and Mary McCarthy”; Monday, July 24, David Weintraub gives an illustrated talk about his new book, Walking the Cape and Islands. There are two annual book sales planned, July 16 and August 6. In Wellfleet, there is always, always something going on at the library.

Take this week, for instance. While returning books and before searching for new ones, you can pause to read a magazine in one of the comfy leather armchairs, enjoy a photo exhibit by Nate O. Johnson about a Wellfleet shellfisherman’s life on the flats, or admire Susan Forrest Johnson’s collection of umbrellas. On Thursday, attend Architects Studio free seminar “Low Impact Design for Existing & New Homes” or, on Saturday, hear Dr. Carolann Najarian speak about “Medicine and Healing in Armenia,” while experiencing oil paintings by Karen North Wells, displayed on the meeting room walls. Other meeting room activities include the Wellfleet Writing Guild and Yoga & Movement. A book club, Wellfleet Gardeners, French and Spanish classes, the Historic Commission, the Selectmen and Wellfleet Forum also meet at the library.

To ice the cake, hours were extended this winter. Readers can wander in after work Monday through Thursday and browse until 8. Anyone on vacation, who does not have access to a laptop, can reserve a half-hour session on one of eight computers, whimsically named “Truth,” “Honesty,” “Patience,” Hope,” “Mercy,” “Harmony,” and “Desire.”

It’s raining and you don’t know what to do? Head for to the library.

Want to meet some friends? Run into them at the library.

Need to do some precise research? Find it fast at the library.

If the Wellfleet Public Library is such an amazing place, a lot of the credit must go to director Elaine McIlroy, who seems to have a knack for inspiring everyone to excel. This month Elaine celebrates 25 years of dedicated service to the people of Wellfleet.

Our library is a local treasure. Anyone who loves culture quickly becomes addicted. Art, poetry, and Shakespeare seminars in winter, friendly staff eager to assist, a fine collection of DVDs and audio books, video training for teens, a children’s librarian who leads Story Hour and recently helped kids raise money for Heifer International. Library cards not only for residents and people who own second homes, but for tourists as well. And, of course, a great collection of books. There is something for everyone. How lucky we are!