Awards Ceremony | Newberry

Awards Ceremony

For those of you who didn’t see either memo we are not officially taking books until September 2. The place is going to be locked up tight during the Labor Day Weekend so we cannot oblige you if your idea of a great Labor Day family activity is dropping off Disney videos and tapioca cookbooks at the Newberry.

AND this week particularly we would rather not have any large book donations since the parking lot is going to be resurfaced. This means NO access to the loading dock from outside. Not even if you tiptoe.

This gives me a chance to bring back all the things I tucked away during the Sixth Annual 25th Anniversary Book Fair, and process all the gifts people dropped off at the end of July. (We have started off the autograph section with a bang, finding one book inscribed by Dr. Ruth and one inscribed by the ONE, the ONly HOWard CoSELL. Okay, YOU try doing impersonations in a blog.)

Thus, I have a chance to hand out another collection of imaginary wreaths and bouquets to those who made the end of July so memorable this year.

A wreath of fresh forget-me-nots to the customer who ran up to say “I’ve wanted this for years!” It reminds us of one of the reasons we do this.

A large wreath of poppies, with the hopes that these will make you forget us, to the donor who dropped off sixteen bags of rather mildewed books on the last day of the Book Fair. A double wreath goes, of course, to the volunteer who told him that would be okay.

A wreath of woven niphredil and elanor, with a garnish of mallorn leaves, to all those of you who took selfies with our first edition of The Lord of the Rings. (And a wreath of lottery tickets as well, so maybe next year you can actually buy it.)

Garlands of lead thistles are for all of you who decided you wanted the CD but not the CD case (which, to be fair, was the part with the price tag on it.) A double wreath to the person who wanted that expensive art book but not enough to pause and pay for it. I know you were so excited you were just in a hurry and no doubt are mailing a check. You, er, do know you were standing just in front of a security camera, don’t you?

As always, a bouquet of apple blossoms, pear blossoms, peach blossoms, and, what the heck, watermelon blossoms to those of our friends who fed us for free during the Book Fair: TriStar Catering, Bistrot Zinc, Simply Elegant, Occasions Chicago, Caffe Baci, Connie’s Pizza, Jordan’s Food of Distinction, Jewell Events, Food Evolution, D’Absolute, and J&L Catering. A special wreath, with added clusters of hazelnuts, go to Whole Foods, which fed us several times, gave us special bags for Preview Night customers, and did some in-store promotion for us by putting our bookmarks in the customers’ bags. And another special wreath, involving twined T-sacks, goes to the perennial supplier of plastic bags for our customers, Potash Bros.

Mustn’t forget that garland of sunflowers and day lilies for whoever designed the weather for the weekend: not too cloudy, very little rain, but not 100 degrees, either. Not only is it nicer to go to the Library in this type of weather, but the customers behave better…mostly.

A wreath of medicinal marijuana to the customer who wanted to know why the leather bound collectibles hadn’t been sorted by color: maybe the wreath will make her come up with even better ideas.

And, as always, a glowing wreath of laurel to all those volunteers who spent one weekend putting Literature HERE, and Music THERE, and CDs HERE, and Art books THERE, and then, one weekend later, spent hours explaining that Room 1 was HERE, Checkout was THERE, the price is HERE, the restrooms are THERE….

I don’t know where you put all these wreaths we send you, but that’s neither here nor there.

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