Archive for February, 2009

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Moving the doorway to learning

February 20, 2009
Our library doors...now at Purdy Elementary!

Our library doors...now also at Purdy Elementary!

Not too long ago, Purdy Elementary School Principal, Rick Brietzke, informed library staffers that Milwaukee-based artist Reynaldo Hernandez was in the process of painting our library doors in the school.  Hernandez (with assistance from art teacher Karen Gomez and students) was working on turning the lunchroom into a work of art via a larger-than-life size mural.  Students had photographed various images of Fort Atkinson and the Dwight Foster Public Library entrance was selected as one of the images that would ultimately be used for the artist in residence project.

I think the result is stunning.  It is a very life-like depiction of Fort Atkinson’s very own doorway to learning.

We treasure the architectural beauty of our name DWIGHT FOSTER PVBLIC LIBRARY carved into the stone and set atop the sturdy Roman pillars.  (Over the years people have asked me why there is a “V” where there ought to be a “U.”  More on that in a future blog post.)

Our doorway was built in 1916 and moved in 1983.   As I’ve mentioned before, we plan on preserving it and moving it South with our next expansion.  We do think it embodies our library for the people in our community.

But we are absolutely delighted that now children can get that library feeling by walking through the lunchroom door at Purdy Elementary. Children of future generations will have an even more vivid mental image of the doorway to learning as a result of this imaginative and clever depiction.

Kudos to everyone involved for accomplishing something profoundly moving.  (In more ways than one!)

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Act the way you want to feel

February 16, 2009

I am a fan of Gretchen Rubin.  She is spending a year working on something she calls the Happiness Project, which will hit the shelves in the form of a book at the end of 2009.  She’s been spending her time test-driving every principle, tip, theory, and scientific study she can find on the topic of happiness.  She’s reporting along the way in her daily blog.

She has very interesting blog posts and the one from October 15, 2008 really caught my attention.   She talks about the importance of doing something for someone else…which has a dual purpose.  It helps YOU and it helps the other person/entity.

In the post she talks about the importance of donating money, even if you feeling poor when you look at the latest report on your 401K.   She reminds us that many people don’t have a 401K.  Part of happiness is recognizing that you probably have a great deal to be grateful for.  If you can’t give money, you can donate books to libraries, she advises.  (Hey, I’m all for that!)   Or give blood.  An action that gives life to another.   No pricetag on that gift.

According to Gretchen:

“So act the way you want to feel. Acting with generosity, with gratitude, with compassion, will change your perception of your own situation. And it will improve the lives of others.”

In the not-too-distant future and we’ll be going to the community with our library’s capital campaign.  We’d love to be able to Foster Growth…and happiness…all around.  Such a wonderful and unique opportunity to give a gift that means something important today that will also last beyond any of our own lifetimes.  Happiness…for you right now as a result of giving…and for countless others, some of whom you will never know, but for whom a strong library will help to create a happy life.  (More about that in another post.)






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