The Velveteen Library


There is an ascendancy of radiators and clerestory lighting of glass block illuminating the children’s section. The only way to grow is up. The brick structure has stood on this corner for generations. It is quiet on the outside and well-worn on the inside. Its books per square foot figure can be researched; it reminds me of a populous rabbit warren near the tipping point. Its location is in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, where demographic counts tell a story or two and tumbledown rowhomes make a place to become wise to city ways. Near the library desk hangs a big replica of a check, made out for $350, that the children of Glenside School raised for their library. I have never in my life seen such a tender spot.

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