Friday, February 26, 2010
During these challenging times, it is refreshing and comforting to see that Gleason Public Library functions so effectively and serves our entire town so well. While this success is due to many individuals and town organizations, much credit should be given to Angela Mollet, our wonderful library director.
With good reason, Gleason is widely considered to be one of Carlisle’s jewels. More than any other town institution, it is used extensively by people of all ages, with virtually all residents five years and older having a library card. Records from the most recent fiscal year show that the library circulated over 24 items per Carlisle resident.
The library receives high marks on a comparative basis too, ranking first in Total Circulation Activity on a per capita basis among libraries in its population category and eleventh of the 367 libraries in the state.
Given that our library is so heavily utilized and serves as such an integral part of our community, it is critical that we have a competent director and staff to manage this vital resource effectively. Fortunately, Mollet is an exceptional library director.
Colleagues, trustees, other library professionals and patrons cite many attributes such as her friendliness, intelligence, dedication and overall managerial and leadership skills. However, because of Angela’s self-effacing style, only those who work closely with her appreciate just how much she contributes to our community’s cultural life.
It’s important to acknowledge that Gleason has benefited immensely over the years from strong patron, volunteer and taxpayer support, enlightened leadership from previous directors such as Peggy Hilton and Ellen Rauch and critical guidance and support from the Board of Trustees and Friends of Gleason Public Library (FOGPL). Also, friendly staff members such as Kay Edelberg, a talented veteran of over twenty years, certainly make the director’s job easier.
Among Mollet’s many initiatives, she has done an excellent job of working with various town organizations, such as the Carlisle School, Council on Aging and FOGPL, to expand the number and variety of programs offered.
The library is abuzz with all kinds of activities, including reading clubs, outside programs and special exhibits, that attract and enrich the lives of young and old alike. Also, our director has shown great skill in dealing with the myriad aspects of library management, such as overseeing the building’s recent, successful renovation of its historic façade.
Despite being such an important town resource, the library only accounts for 2.2% of the town’s operating budget. According to other library professionals, this is partly because Mollet has been particularly effective in identifying and successfully bidding for outside grant opportunities. These grants serve to increase the variety of library offerings while reducing the need for town expenditures.
Just as importantly, though less visible, colleagues and trustees credit Mollet with having spent a lot of time and effort on staff development. As a result of this emphasis, our library benefits from a very knowledgeable and friendly group of professionals and volunteers who endeavor to make library visits productive and enjoyable.
Despite these achievements, Mollet is always striving to improve the library by soliciting patron feedback and suggestions. To this end, she will soon commence a long-term planning process that will include community input.
If you have a chance in the coming weeks, please welcome Angela back from maternity leave and thank her for all that she does to help make Gleason Library such a special community resource. ∆
Less than a year after we moved to Carlisle my wife and I decided to build a dry-laid stone wall curved around the south and west sides of our house, to be filled with perennials, flowering bushes and hummingbirds. Accordingly we bought cubic yards of composted manure and loam from Mark Duffy, and skids and skids of Pennsylvania Flats from Westford Earth Materials. By then my girls had thoroughly explored the cool woods and the wetlands glittering like mica around our house, so that when seven-year old Miranda asked what these piles and skids were, she knew enough about our land’s abundant resources to shake her head with the quick wisdom of the uncorrupted and announce, “You spent money on this?! I should write a book. Chapter 1: Don’t buy rocks. Chapter 2: Don’t buy dirt. Chapter 3: (the no-brainer) “Don’t buy poop.”
I spent the summer of 1998 muscling the flats into the sweeping design my wife laid out. I got to be pretty good at hefting a slab and having the right place for it pop into my mind’s eye, getting it pivoted on, maybe shimmed up a bit, shifting it solid so the girls could run laps on the wall when it was done; then pushing endless wheelbarrows of compost and dirt, shoveled, trundled, poured, and mixed so my wife could complete the garden with the skilled work: choosing and placing the plants. If I sell the house or die here, I hope they won’t take the wall apart, but they may. Men break what men build.
Carlisle has rocks, dirt, water and trees. I love the fields, forests and water, but I think I like the rocks best. Not just the stone walls, which are very handsome, the time-soft tumbled practical working tools of farm and sheep, running slumped and rumpled off into the shaded disappearing history of the people before us – but even more the lone scattered wild rocks, the ones never worth clearing, or grandly impossible. One beauty of Carlisle’s zoning is that nearly every household has at least one “glacial erratic,” the huge unmovable granite chunks dropped straight down by the mile-thick melting ice of the last glacier. In Europe I like to go right up to cathedrals, put my palm on their rock, tip my head back, and stare straight up the impossibly tall stone road to Heaven, churches built, sometimes over centuries, by men as tough, as common, and as nameless as our farmers, building something vaulting up to God greater and older than their temporary lives. Something stone.
Go out to your glacial erratic. Hold your hand to it, your palm; a blind person looking through darkness, you are touching the face of a broken mountain that fell through ice to earth 18,000 years ago and has not moved two inches since. Under your hand, through the rough grain and cold feel the soundless thrum and frozen river of deep time, a gray majesty shouldering around itself your rushing important freshet life. So much of what’s around us will go on.
© 2010 The