“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt

For those who have read this column for the past six years, you know that I am fond of sowing quotations into my writing wherever I can cram them in. While the ostensible reason might be to share something inspirational and stir curiosity about the source material, the underlying one is that when life is challenging, when my own articulation is slow in coming, the words of others who have lived to accomplish something significant, then thought and written about it, serve as footholds on the sheer cliff face of hard times.

We have learned much, as a local community and as a nation. We have learned not to take everyday blessings for granted. We have learned what true leadership looks like, and what it does not. We have learned that crucial decisions should not be based upon whim or prevailing mood, on gossip, hearsay or spite, but on careful and unbiased listening to all sides, and on vetted research and fact.

We are also learning once again that there are no winners in a civil war, and that on whatever side of the aisle we stand, there comes a time to lay down our sharp words and other weaponry, and together set about the work of reparation and healing.

“We must trust our own thinking. Trust where we’re going. And get the job done.”

— Wilma Mankiller

Meanwhile, 2021 brings new happenings at the library. In youth services, Facebook Live Story Times continue on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on the library’s Facebook page. The upcoming themes are: “Rosemary Wells,” “Groundhog Day,” “Love and Friendship,” and “Moon and Stars.”

There will be a special story time, Balloons on Zoom! on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 10:30 a.m. Tune in for balloon-themed books, songs and other fun early literacy activities, followed by a live craft demonstration. Email youthservices@centenniallibrary.org to register and to pick up your craft kit during curbside hours, with materials to make the craft along with Miss Cari.

We have 10 craft kits to hand out, so register as soon as you can. When you do, you will also receive the link to join story time.

Mark your calendars for Disney Jeopardy on Zoom, Thursday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m. Test your knowledge of all things Disney in a game of Jeopardy. Register ahead of time by emailing youthservices@centenniallibrary.org and get the link.

The Teen Advisory Board will meet Thursday, Feb. 4 and 25 at 3 p.m. Email Rachel to receive the link.

We are also bringing back our creative writing group, P.E.N. (People of Epic Narration). Youth ages 12-18 who enjoy writing fiction, poetry, fan fiction, nonfiction and more are invited to participate in fun, imaginative writing activities and share original writing. Those interested have the opportunity to help plan and lead activities. For now, we will meet on Zoom the second Thursday of each month at 3 p.m. Again, email Rachel.

“Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors.”

— Fred Rogers

It’s heartwarming to know that favorite events will go on. Morrisville Alliance for Culture and Commerce and library outreach coordinator Cari Varner are teaming up to continue the Be a Love Valentine drive. We know it’s been a challenge to safely connect with others, but you can help brighten a senior’s day and celebrate the Morrisville community by making valentines for our seniors and& residents at Copley House, Copley Terrace, Forest Hill and others. We provide all the craft supplies for five valentines; all we need is for you to “Be A Love.”

How can you be part of the drive? Just pick up a kit during the library’s curbside hours, and use the supplies and whatever you might have on hand to create a thoughtful valentine that is sure to bring someone a smile. Return the finished valentines in a bag to the library’s drop box by Feb. 7, to give them time to safely quarantine before delivery. Thank you to all who participate and make Morrisville a lovely place to live.

“Thank you is the best prayer anyone could say … It expresses gratitude, humility, understanding.

— Alice Walker

If you’ll permit me one final round of gratitude before I take my leave and pass the communications reins into Rachel’s capable hands for the interim, I do want to express my appreciation. Thank you, first and foremost, to the Morrisville community, for your continued support and use of the library throughout; you have kept us going, and everyone at the library appreciates you.

To the News & Citizen staff, for allowing the library a forum, and for your patience and camaraderie. Thank you to the town of Morristown and all the amazing and dedicated people there (especially Tina and Paula in finance, who taught me how to keep all the fiscal balls in the air with great patience and humor); to my wonderful co-workers, Gary, Rachel, Mary, Cari, Brian and Marcia, for your admirable dedication to providing excellent library service no matter what; and to our library-loving volunteers.

Thank you to Sue Sargent and the original board of trustees who took a chance on and supported me and to the current board for its work in keeping the library functioning. Thank you to so many good friends, among them, Meredith McGee, who calmly, ably steered us through many a growth spurt; Mary West, whose kindness, knowledge and continued devotion to the library have been a constant throughout my tenure here; Pat Modzelewski and Dave Goodlin, for their dear friendship and giving hearts — and for lending me some much-needed dog therapy; Donna Merriam and the dedicated Friends; David Stevens who nursed our trees along and gave of himself in so many ways, as did so many members of his extended family — Pat’s legacy lives on in youth services, forever; John Buttolph, whose electrical expertise saved us many a trial and dollar, and whose donated labor helped expedite the completion of a project near and dear to my heart.

Through the generosity of the Copley/Munson Fund, and owing to a letter from a patron who uses assistance for mobility, Morristown Centennial Library’s long-awaited automatic doors were just installed last week. When the library building reopens to the public, those who need it will be able to enter and exit by the touch of a button.

K., who wrote to me several years ago asking if I would see about getting this accomplished: your letter remained on my wall until last Friday. Ma’am, it’s finally finished.

And with that, I wish you all peace, joy, health and a wealth of good stories to fascinate and inspire you. A heartfelt farewell to a fine community and a wonderful place to have called home.

“It isn’t where you came from. It’s where you’re going that counts.

— Ella Fitzgerald

Gizelle Guyette is director of Morristown Centennial Library.

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