Literary Moments

Need to return your library books and films but dread finding a parking place? Drop them off at the new grocery store! You asked, we listened.

The new drive-by library return box will answer many of the patron suggestions for a more convenient way to return books without going into the library.

Many thanks to Aaron Dye for allowing space for this much needed return box within walking distance of many island amenities and many thanks to the Friends of the Library for funding it!

When is the last time you received a hand-written letter? Wasn’t it a special treat? I’ll gladly throw down my bills and advertisements for the lure of that cursive script. Invariably, I’ll sniff the paper, hoping for a lingering scent of a loved one. Ron Hall recently asked if the library would be willing to take part in promoting April’s letter writing month. I sent him my reply with a hand-written message in a card – just to show I meant business!

Stop by the library this month to check out another of Karen Roger’s great displays featuring “epistolary” works – a fancy way of saying novels that involve letter writing to advance the plot. I just read another one, The Swan Thieves, that involves a painter who becomes obsessed a long-dead female artist and it is through letters that we uncover the mystery. Delicious!

Feel like your handwriting could use more of a flourish? Joyce Lyster, is donating her time and expertise of 30 years to teach an introductory calligraphy class on April . Free to the public, maximum of 15 people. Supplies will be provided, but bring your own calligraphy pen if you have it.

At the very least, you’ll leave with an ability to dash off a really eye-catching notes or addressed envelope with style. Space is limited so call to sign up: 468-2265.

Mark your calendars for April 24 at 6 p.m. for an author reading and presentation by San Juan writer, Janet Thomas. Thomas, author of ‘‘Day Breaks over Dharamsala’’ is also a playwright with a long history of participation in civic and environmental issues.

Janet Thomas was born in Wales and lived ten years in Canada before moving to the Northwest. She’s lived on San Juan Island for 15 years.

Throughout the 1980s, Thomas’ plays were produced in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC. She wrote ‘‘At Home In Hostel Territory,’’ a travel guide to hostels of the west, and was editor of SPA Magazine for five years. ‘‘The Battle in Seattle: The Story Behind and Beyond the WTO Demonstrations’’ was published in 2000.

Thomas was a contributing editor to the 2007 Northwest Best Places and has contributed to the Lopez Writer’s Guild publication, Shark Reef. Come enjoy Janet as she shares her experiences and photos. Free to the public.

In the April 9, issue of the New York Times, The Lost ‘Library Voice’ article lamented the lack of quietude to be found in libraries today, what with the increase of usage and addition of popular programs and services bringing folks of all ages and voice levels into the library proper. Our library is seeing similar customer gains but we aren’t complaining! We are planning new space utilization to help. The Lopez Island Library has seen an increase of 54% in usage in the past three years. Many times every seat and table are taken. Thanks to input from a community steering group, the Lopez Island Library’s long-range plan listed “a comfortable place” as a top service priority. To help meet this goal, the library has asked Lois and Bob Wardell to enclose the patio for year-round use to increase personal space for patrons. We want to hear your ideas for the new library addition which will be built this year. Take a minute to tell us what is most important to you in this new area.The survey is available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VLKLRDV. The theme of National Library Week, which began Sunday, is “Communities Thrive @ Your Library so let us know what you need!