Some random man hanging with some friends outside the Cape Girardeau Public Library! I bet he does not live in the library district!
I love the internet and television (particularly my beloved Law and Order) to the point that I can lose vats of time in eye-to-monitor contact. This condition is so bad, it would be hard to imagine the latent voracious reader "simmering" (<-- more on this later) below the surface.
Regardless of this affliction, I have been a library buff since I was a wee one. This was passed down to me from my mother, a true voracious reader who begot another voracious reader. Nap time at my house was all kids in bed and my mom in bed with a book. No chores during naptime for my mom. It was time to read.
Well, my mom is now 80, and I am now, um, something and I am missing that chance to not only immerse myself in recreational reading that not only feeds my middle-aged imagination but reminds me again that there is something called proper sentence structure, punctuation has a purpose, and words can have power without being CAPITALIZED!!!
Moving to a new town, I like to check out the library as I find it as comforting as tater tots. I consider the Cape Library, 711 N. Clark Street, definitely a must for readers (and non-readers) of all ages. (www.capelibrary.org)
There is a lot of super technology within this library, from the automated voice thanking you for using the bookdrop, to self-checkout, computerized library card catalogue, wi-fi, and a nicely outfitted computer classroom. No fret if technology is not your thing. There are nice helpers ready to assist "old school'. There is a good balance of programming at the library geared at children, teens, and adults. In addition, the library has a public room available for community non-profit groups.
The library is on my mind currently as the Winter Adult Book Club (not to be confused with the Adult Book Store located across the Emerson bridge), launched on Monday, January 30. I was #3 on the list at Adult Services when I picked up and enrolled in this three month program. When I first moved here, the club rewarded you based on the number of books you read. I did not hit the minimum, and ultimately my list of books read fell to the side, though I did make it through at least one book before the end of the program. Considering I had not read a single non-text book for years prior to that, I consider my lone book an accomplishment. The program has evolved to rewarding you for reading or listening to books, participating in activities, completing puzzles, and other neat things that stimulate your brain. Similar to the summer reading programs you enjoyed/detested as a kid, you are encouraged to reconnect to the literary world and there are rewards.
This winter's reading club themed, The Reading Gourmet, runs January 30 to April 30. It consists of a variety of activities for grown-ups with a valid library card. You are encouraged to check out some book derivative( hard cover, paperback, books on tape, books on cd, e-books, downloadables, and something called playaways) from the library and write a review. Each review puts you in a drawing for a prize. You can also earn extra entries by attending programs and events and completing "passive" program sheets. I am looking forward to March when there is a program trifecta with talks on "Signs of Spring" by our Cape County Nature Center (March 10), Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (March 17), and Dr. Frank Nickell talks about the history of the Common Pleas Courthouse (March 25). Dr. Nickell is a walking encyclopedia on Cape history and lore and well worth the "ear time".
In order to get a Cape library card, you must live in the Cape Library district. This is not the same as living in Cape Girardeau. The district lines were drawn in 1965 and there are developed parts of Cape that extend beyond district lines. The best thing to do is call or go into the library with your license (with your Cape address on it) OR a recent piece of mail, (utility bills are great choices), and the helpful folks at the front desk will determine if you are eligible for a free card. Some employees of the City of Cape, SEMO, and teachers in the district are also eligible for a card. If you are not eligible for a free card, you may also purchase a card at a current rate of $15. for three months (2/1/12).
I wish your brain Bon Apetit!