West Tisbury: National Library Week

Beth here again — I promise Hermine will be back next week!

I am writing this column from Symphony Hall in Boston just before the concert begins. (Don’t worry — I will turn off my phone before the music begins!)

Big week to celebrate: It is National Library Week! Be sure to hug a librarian this week (Well, maybe just say “thank you“).

I love heading up for Friday-afternoon concerts of the BSO. It is a wonderful experience to sit in this magnificent hall and listen to such great music. I know that I am not at the High School’s Performing Arts Center because the seats in Symphony Hall are not as comfortable. I also love going up because I get to see lots of my neighbors. Today I saw Mary Jean Miner, former MV Times columnist from Oak Bluffs — I told her that I was covering for Hermine and asked if she had any dirt. She said that covering OB was pretty easy — always lots of interesting things going on there. We mostly spoke about how incredible last week’s Requiem was — she sang in it and said it was as wonderful to be a part of as it was to listen to.

I hope that you all were able to attend our annual town meeting on Tuesday. Everyone will have to fill me in, because Douglas and I were off-Island. This is the first time in over 20 years I have used an absentee ballot. (Thanks for your help, Pam.)

You know that I have been writing about the sister-island relationship between Dukes County and the Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines — representatives from SVG have come to the Island several times, including their ambassador, La Celia A. Prince, and Consul General Selmon Walters. In 2013 Glenn DeBlase and Tim Carroll traveled there to meet with firefighters, police, and government officials to conduct a preliminary assessment of St. Vincent’s fire and emergency preparedness. Dukes County sent down several deliveries of firefighting equipment. Both islands have sent books to each other, and there is now a display of materials at the West Tisbury library from SVG for Vineyarders to learn about our Caribbean sister nation. This week I am going down to meet with librarians from St. Vincent and Bequia. I will be the guest speaker at their Library Week celebration. The talk will be on the transformation and importance of libraries. Douglas has agreed to come with me, so hopefully we will get some swimming and exploring in. Thank you to Anita Botti and Martina Thornton for making this sister-island relationship possible. And thank you to Lynne Whiting for lending me some East Caribbean dollars and a phone, and for teaching me how to pack!

Happy belated birthday to the world’s best boss. Linda Hearn celebrated her birthday last week, and I owe her a chocolate cake — a really good one! I also send birthday wishes to my mom, Joan Hopkins, who lives in Falmouth. We will spend the day together on April 15 to celebrate, and maybe eat some Chinese food (her favorite).

While watching the ospreys hovering over Mill Pond this morning eyeing the trout, I am pretty sure I heard one cry out “thank you” to Steve Hurley and the State Division of Fisheries and Wildlife as it grabbed breakfast.

Congratulations to McCaull Reid on his completion of the triathlon at the Y last week. Thanks to all who helped, especially Les Cutler and Mike Adell.

I had a chance to speak with Tim Boland, director of Polly Hill Arboretum, before he took off for Texas to go look at oak trees and some rare species that only exist there, including an endangered stewartia that Tim wants to rescue. He is a Super Flora Hero.

Hey, it’s spring! It’s time to declutter and get some spring cleaning in. Be sure to join Paula Martin at the library as she shares tips on how to create space and bring balance and harmony into your home, your mind, and your life. This free event is at 1:30 on Thursday, April 14. And don’t forget to leave the tutus home and join the Yard for their free community dance that evening from 5:30 to 7 pm at the library.

Please remember to join Roberta Kirn, just back from her trip to Kenya, at her Song Exchange Program at the library this Saturday, April 16, at 3:30. Roberta will host a community sing, teaching songs from all over the world.

Join Emma Young as we celebrate Poetry Month at the library’s Community Poetry event on Sunday, April 17, at 4 pm.

While you are visiting the library, check out Astrid Tilton’s photographs. Her exhibit titled “Realizing Waste” is inspired by the plastic bag bylaw. Astrid is a student at the Charter School who has been working with the Vineyard Conservation Society to create this bylaw. Astrid says, “Our choices have a profound impact on the world around us … the first step is to change awareness. Once we see the results of our actions, we can determine what we must change.”

There are two new book groups starting this month at the library. Andrea Figaratto will lead the YA Book Cafe for Teens on Thursday, April 21, at 4 pm in the YA Room, and the Young at Heart book group for adults beginning Monday, April 25, at 6:30 pm. This month’s book is “Everything, Everything,“ by Nicola Yoon (author’s debut novel; fun, quirky, quick read; keeps you guessing). Yummy snacks served. Copies of the book will be available at the circulation desk.

If you have any questions, or would like to get added to our book club email list, please call or email the library at wt_mail@clamsnet.org.

By the time you are reading this we will know who the 2016 PEN Literary Awards winner is. Our very own Jennifer Tseng was a finalist for this prestigious award for her debut novel, “Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness.” If you did not have a chance to read it last summer, be sure to pick up a copy at the library. Jennifer is a super-talented writer, and you may recognize just where this novel takes place.