I took a walk to the library this morning. I wouldn’t ordinarily be excited about a walk, but these days, being able to walk to the library and find that it is open for business is an exciting thing. Our city has cut library hours to a minimum; it has morning hours only two days a week, is closed Sundays and Mondays entirely, and is rarely open in the evenings. Our branch has also begun charging 25 cents per day for new releases. I understand the budget problems they are having, but charging for books? It sort of defeats the purpose for having a lending library. In spite of the problems, I have to say that we are very fortunate to have a local branch library. We are still a great community with a respect for books. I recently checked out a copy of a “Once Upon a Time in the North” a YA novel by Philip Pullman. In the back of the book was an envelope, and inside the envelope was a richly illustrated game board, a companion piece to the novel. I was amazed that it was still there, intact and perfect, in spite of having gone through probably dozens and dozens of hands. A small thing, perhaps, but it says a lot, I think, of the community and of the people who run our local library. I hope that full library hours can one day be restored.