Monday, November 30, 2015

Between the Lines: A Life in Libraries

by Zinta Aistars
for WMUK 102.1 FM
Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate

Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. (or listen anytime online), on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.

This week's guest: Marsha Meyer 

Marsha Meyer at WMUK for BETWEEN THE LINES (Photo credit Zinta Aistars)

We all have that first love. It hits us hard and we never forget. Some of us are lucky enough to hold onto that love our whole lives. For Marsha Meyer, that first and lasting love was the library. Meyer is retiring from the Portage District Library after 35 years but she remembers well that moment when she first entered the magical world of books as a child.

“It was an old building and it had quarter-sawn tables with the little yellow light, and I would go there after school and think—I want to live here,” Meyer recalls.
While today’s libraries are abuzz with technology, including electronic books, DVDs, CDs, and computers, Meyer remembers the library of her childhood with all of its bound books and card catalogs. “And I even loved the smell of the books,” Meyers says.
In Meyer’s eyes, a library is not only a fountain of knowledge and wonder but has today increasingly become a community center — a place where people connect.
“The library is the living room of the community,” she says. In an age of technology, people crave to meet face-to-face more than ever. The library is also a meeting place for book clubs and writers’ groups. It's also the beginning point for those researching family genealogy, seeking employment, studying for school, or even learning how to read with the help of tutors.
At the Portage District Library, Meyer is an event planner, filling rooms, sometimes to capacity, for countless author readings and literary events. She says the library not only showcases local authors, it also introduces the community to authors visiting Michigan.
After her retirement at the end of 2015, Meyer plans to ...

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