Monday, September 21, 2009

Overheard in an Airport

During the long Labor Day holiday, my husband and I drove to Denver, Colorado, where he dropped me off at Denver International Airport for the trip home and he continued on to the end of the road somewhere northwest of Rifle, CO, for his annual mule deer hunt. It was a pleasant drive through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. It's always interesting to see a new part of our great country and watch changes occurring in familiar parts.

One awesome sight was the new windmill farm outside Goodland, Kansas. We're not talking about old fashioned windmills used to pump water into livestock tanks; we're talking huge silent white blades turning slowly and methodically in the early morning haze generating kilowatts of electricity. What a juxtaposition of modern technology rising above hundreds of acres of milo, corn and hay.

Another interesting place was the "Cathedral of the Plains" (Saint Fidelis Catholic Church) in Victoria, Kansas. Rising above the western Kansas plains, it is an inspiring sight in the early morning light. If you would like to read more, here is a link to their website:
To read more about interesting places to see in this part of the U.S., visit the library and look in the 917.6-917.8 area of non-fiction.

One of the most interesting parts of the trip to me (as a librarian) was the conversation overheard in the Denver airport while waiting for my flight. (Please forgive me for eavesdropping but when I heard "library" I just had to pay attention!) Several folks started talking with each other about their jobs and one young lady was a school librarian. The conversation turned to reading and books and one gentleman stated that he and his wife were frequent users of their local public library. (Notice that I said "users" and not "visitors.") He said that they were shocked at how much new books cost and that just one of the three new books he had requested was $31.95! They also stated that they check out books on CD as well as movies on DVD and felt that the public library was a valuable resource in their lives.

It really made me appreciate what a great asset the public library is to the local community. In tough economic times, the public library becomes even busier than normal. The amount of taxes each person pays to support the public library for one year is about the cost of one new paperback book. That would be a very long year for me if there were no public libraries and all I could buy was one paperback book! Thank you to the anonymous travelers in Denver for reminding me of how much I treasure the library.

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