“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
As summer wanes, it is natural to move many of our activities indoors. We reluctantly stow our summer gear and mentally prepare ourselves for the snow, cold and darkness to come. But wait! Before that time arrives, nature gifts us October, that wonderful month of cool mornings and evenings but still-warm days, leaves of vivid yellow, red and orange, smells of musty earthiness and bright skies made clearer through the absence of dust and smoke.
October might be the perfect time for you to stroll various Durango neighborhoods looking for Little Free Libraries. You may have already seen some around town. They are usually little boxes or cabinets decorated to look like a house, school or other building, filled with books, mounted on a post and placed in a front yard or park, along a bike path or near a library.
The Southwest La Plata Library District helped Sunnyside Farms Market install its own Little Free Library celebrating local libraries and “the joy of reading to build community and inspire imagination.” The first Little Free Library was established in 2010 in Hudson, Wisconsin; now there are more than 100,000 in more than 100 countries worldwide. The mission of the Little Free Library organization “is to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries (littlefreelibrary.org/ourhistory/). You can find a map of Little Free Libraries by visiting littlefreelibrary.org.
October is also a great time to revisit your local library. Pandemic restrictions have eased and libraries are welcoming in-person visits. Most libraries are requiring or encouraging mask wearing, but beyond that there are few restrictions. What could be easier than stopping by the library on your way home from work and picking up a good weekend read, DVD or audiobook? The libraries in the Southwest La Plata Library District are also building a collection of “Busy Boxes” for busy parents and caregivers to check out. Each box is built around a theme and filled with books, games and activities that support the theme. Currently, we have boxes about Pizza (fractions), Ducks (counting) and coming soon – Insects. All parents need to do is stop in, pick up a box and be on their way. We will soon have kits for older kids or adults who want to try out a new hobby before making a financial investment, for example a baking kit with shaped cake pans, decorating tips and a cookbook; knitting needles and yarn; or art supplies. Visiting a library will open your eyes to possibilities!
As the busy summer season closes and the hustle and bustle of holiday season approaches, let’s enjoy our town, our libraries and October.
“Listen! the wind Is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings; now for October eves!” – Humberto Wolff
Patricia Johnson is interim director of Southwest La Plata Library District.