Tuesday, December 2, 2008
100 years young
Today we got to sing happy birthday to the Dunedin Public Library which first opened its doors on the 2nd of December 1908.
The boys and I trotted off to a lovely little do where the Mayor, Peter Chin, and Merle van de Klundert, the Chair of the Friends of the Library made speeches and cut a cake, and the sounds of champagne corks popping echoed around the fourth floor. There were sammies and savouries and lots of chocolates. The library choir sang a hilarious song recounting the history of the esteemed institution. The Mayor lead us all in singing Happy Birthday and three cheers. The only downside was the parking ticket on my windscreen when we got back to the car - The DCC giveth and the DCC taketh away.
The library has had a very full centenary programme which included Library Alive Day on Sunday. We came along and Mr Six-year-old had his face painted, Mr Nine-year-old got to play air hockey, there was a bouncy castle, characters from Narnia, a treasure hunt, live music playing on every floor and I was thinking, wouldn't it be great if libraries were this much fun every day!
Mary Ronnie has written Freedom to Read: A Centennial History of Dunedin Public Library. I was delighted to be given a copy as a thank you for giving an author talk at the library as part of their centenary programme. I haven't had an in depth read yet, but from the flicking through I've done it looks fascinating.
I've had a love affair with libraries since childhood, my first book addictions started in the Greerton Public Library in Tauranga - Richard Scary's The Bears Almanac was the worlds best book ever when I was a five-year old. I still visit the library most weeks, and it has been great fun being a part of the centenary celebrations.
Bring on the next 100 years.