Library serves important role

My mother, who likes to read, was reminiscing Saturday evening about coming to Fort Frances to attend high school.
Up until then, her family had lived in Hudson, Ont., where her father was the stationmaster.
The library in that community back in the early 1940s was a small bookshelf, and my mother explained to my wife and me that she had read every book on it.
But arriving in Fort Frances, she went to the Carnegie-funded library and discovered a whole building filled with books. And at the high school, there was a room filled with books.
For her, it seemed overwhelming having so much choice. The librarian at the Fort Frances Public Library steered her on to different authors whose books she consumed.
Her passion for reading grew.
Our household always had books and my parents read to all three of us. On Saturdays, the Star Weekly would arrive at Ray S. Holmes and my father would bring it home.
There always was a novel in one of the sections. Often, they included Perry Mason stories written by Erle Stanley Gardner.
Either my mother would read the novel first or my father. Often my mother would put herself into the corner of the kitchen with her back to us to focus on the novel as a way of getting away from her children.
Regular trips to the library expanded her selection of authors.
She later joined the “Friends of the Library” to provide resources that were not funded by either municipal or provincial grants.
As her eyesight declined, my mother began reading large-type books. She also would pick up old movies to watch on her television. In the quiet of her home, she would devour every book that she had picked up at the library.
A bright light with a magnifying lens kept her reading when all she could see was the page from the corner of her eye.
But she wouldn’t give up on reading—continuing to struggle to see words long after she had stopped driving. Eventually, all the special equipment that my mother had acquired to help her read stopped being useful.
Her love of reading did not diminish, however, so the CNIB came to her rescue. On her table rests a talking book reader. Monthly, the CNIB sends here disks that she puts into the reader and listens to the stories with great enjoyment.
The CNIB has taken the time to discover my mother’s reading likes and dislikes. Daily she sits down and instead of reading, she listens to the stories to fill her time.
Perhaps it is part of her most valued time hearing the stories.
That love of reading, and the discovery of the world of books from the Carnegie Library and today’s new library in Fort Frances, have filled a life of reading passion.
I had not realized how important the library was to individuals until my mother spoke of her discovery of authors on Saturday night.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail