Another visit to the library
By late January I had gone through my stack of books that I got in December. So one Saturday Ben and headed off to the library again. One of the readers of this blog was very interested in my earlier post and emailed me a whole list of questions. Which I answered but I thought I might write a little more about the library again for everyone else.
The library is in the old part of the town of Castiglione di Lago. The old part of town is on a promontory that juts out into Lago Trasimeno, a lake that was formed by a meteor. It is a large but fairly shallow lake. It takes about an hour by car to circumnavigate it. The town is bigger than Monte San Savino 13, 500 to the 8,500 of MSS. That area of Italy, (it is the Tuscany Umbria border) between Castiglion Fiorentino and Castiglione del Lago has a number of British and Australians living there. We have more German and Dutch folks around us, in addition to all the Italians of course.
The library sits in an oval shaped piazza which is open to non-resident traffic and allows parking (I’m sure Frances Mayes disapproves). Along one side of the piazza is the entrance through an arch to more of the town(to the left in the picture above) , then the library/museum/town hall building (above), then the hospital (to the right) , a green area in the middle and then a wide view of the lake.
The entrance to the library is the lowest one. (the black looking square) There are easy steps down but also wheel chair access. Besides the library, on this level is the town office that is similar to a register of deeds, birth records that sort of thing. The library takes up the back half of that floor. It has a glass wall at the front that closes off the back half of that floor. So it also serves as a hallway, walkway through that part of the building. Comparing it to a nice, new house in the US, the space is probably the size of a large open plan kitchen-dining area. All along the walls are shelves with a table or two in the small corners and then in the back center are chairs and a screen for meetings. The space is donated by the town so it is sort of multi-purpose. The bulk of the collection is fiction. There are some encyclopedia looking types that I didn’t look at. There is one shelf of travel and one shelf of biography, one shelf on non-fiction. The books have been donated. Folks who live here and then move away that sort of thing.
To check out a book, initially you register and are given a number. Then there is a small slip of paper that you fill out for each book, putting in your number, the book title, date. This paper goes into a red plastic sleeve that is put on the shelf where the book normally lives. They suggest taking books for 4 weeks. Since I live so far away they are being lenient about our borrowing period. The hours are Tuesday- Saturday mornings, Tuesday and Thursday afternoon also. Wednesday is the day to avoid since there is a market in the piazza which is normally the parking lot. There is no limit on how many can be taken out. I guess they rely on the sense of fair play and decency to guide folks. It is pretty much self service as the volunteers are only there on Tuesday mornings.
Somewhere, in the same building, is a library that has Italian books and also some in other languages other than English (German, French) with an actual paid head librarian and assistant. The work done in the English part is all done by volunteers.
The view of the lake. At the end and the top of the edge of the wall is the corner of the hospital building. (upper left edge of the picture)
Look at these hardy souls out sailing in freezing weather. Don’t think that I’d do that.
So that ends our library visit. Until next time…