I rather like the songs in the grocery store, and I welcome the return of all those commercials for Kay, and Jared, and Zales. Seeing the cranberry sauce on the shelves makes me look forward to the impending feasts.
But I do not need these things to let me know the holidays are coming. Because I’ve got my donors to keep me warm.
It’s one of the traditions which doesn’t get a lot of coverage in the sweet songs or colorful cards. The Holiday Clean-Up is upon us all. You can NOT let your family come see your place looking stacked high with books. Time to gather all the National Geographics and bestsellers and pack them off to the Newberry. Your new niece Mitzi may have to sleep in that wicker magazine rack, and you KNOW Uncle George will want to rest his sore foot after the family football game. It’s piled two feet high with books you were sure you were going to read, and there’s no room for his two feet.
Now, I don’t mind, especially. I LIKE getting donations, really I do, even when, as happened on that surprising day last week, I have to tramp through the snow to your car to help unload. Getting books increases our stock for July, by which time, you may well have forgotten you didn’t get around to that book the first time and buy it from me all over again.
But keep in mind that the Newberry celebrates holidays too and NOT, as you may think, by gathering us all in Towner Fellows’ Lounge for a glass of wassail between our trips to unload your books. You need to be aware of our Thanksgiving Closures.
I would think these would be pretty obvious, but let’s just go over it again. Please do NOT drop off books on Gravy Thursday, November 23. The first floor of the building WILL be open on Black Friday and Small Biz Saturday, but we will be operating with a skeleton staff, and we can’t guarantee anyone will be available to pull book donations indoors. And then, of course, we are closed on Subdued Sunday, as people prepare to go back to work and browse online sales for Cyber Monday.
I don’t think it has a nickname, especially, but you may also wish to be cautious about donations on Saturday, November 19. The Festival of Lights Parade will be under construction all around this neighborhood that day, with numerous streets closed or getting ready to close. Uncle Blogsy, who so far has not been asked to be Grand Marshall, tries to get out of the Newberry by about 3 P.M., partly so I can listen to the marimba band on my way home but also so I can actually make it home.
At some point in the next few weeks, we will also start posting Renovation Closures. If you have slept through the last six months, you have heard nothing about it, but the rest of us know that the first floor of the Newberry is getting a major redo. The Library will be open, but various entrances will be affected. The traditional spot for donations, Lampe Landing (the loading dock), will be experiencing an increase in traffic as the builders start moving in equipment and materials.
During that time, we will still be accepting donations, except when we’re closed completely (Gravy Thursday, remember?) From time to time, we’ll be putting up signs to direct you to the place to put your mysteries and cookbooks, and blues 78s, so as to keep these out of the way of the renovators. Keep your eyes open as we move toward the end of November and the onset of December. As we go on, some doors to the building will be closed, but there will be signs telling you where to go and what to do.
If there aren’t, it’s Sunday or it’s New Year’s Day, and we don’t want you to have you stacking up books for us. Surely even book deliveries need to take a holiday.