For right around eleven years, this column has appeared weekly in the Frankenmuth
News without a miss – and I am a little bit proud of that “no miss” factor since I’ve written them
all. I’ve resigned as the library’s “writer” – which was what the position was called when I took
the job. What greater joy to a retired English professor than to get a gig as the public library’s
Before talking books one more time with you, I do want to thank people of course,
starting with Susan Piesko who put my name forward for this job, Mary Chasseur who gave the
world’s most fun and interesting job interview and was a delight to work for and with for the
first bunch of years, and now Pamela Williams who has made her own creative, thoughtful
imprint as the library’s director and has also been a dream to work with. I want to thank every
single staff member of the library – present and those who retired within that time. Every time I
showed up at the library and wondered how something worked or how I could get this
information I needed or anything at all, every person was always helpful. We have the very best
staff in this town. Bring them chocolate or something, everyone! They deserve all of our
thanks. Bring it to them often!
The Board of Directors of the library is another group that really does a fine responsible
job for the community as a group of volunteers. I’ve sat in on most of those meetings over this
time period. Your library and your money for the library are in good hands with this group. They
are visionary and have certainly helped make this library one with, as I love to say, “big city
services in a small town library.”
And then there’s the long standing Friends of the Library who run the best library
continuing used book sale in the basement funding speakers and special events for everyone.
What a great group.
The Books for Lunch group started around ten years ago has just been the best. (And I’ll
still be there every month enjoying those discussions.) This is a smart, kind, funny, savvy group
of readers who have hung together for a decade welcoming new members with open arms.
And I’d have to thank my Mah Jongg group also who have certainly livened things up in
the upstairs on Thursday afternoons. Believe me, I’ll still be there to say, “If you can’t win, don’t
And that tiny little group of dedicated writers that closed the doors and trusted each
other with their work and more? Much love! Let us all remember Dena.
Everyone who has bothered to read this column? I can’t thank you enough. You’ve sent
me ideas, read book suggestions, given book suggestions, sent me articles, and been more than
helpful. It has felt all along like a dialogue to me.
Special thanks to Vicky Hayden of the Frankenmuth News whose expertise gets this
column to print every week. She never flinches when I give my version of “hold the presses; can
you use this one instead of that one?” or some other last second thing. She’s a force. (Love her
I just want to say one more thing about reading (speaking to the choir here). The library
does a lot of different social and community activities – even loaning out hot spots to assure
people can get online and so much more. But libraries are still much about literacy and books.
This community has embraced that. Keep reading from the youngest to the oldest. Let the
biographies inform us. Let the variety of thought expand our vision and help us understand
different people. Let the novelists both entertain us and make us better people (as research
strongly supports). Open a good book and let it make you cry in public (been there, done that)
or laugh out loud all alone. Talk to each other about what you read – love it together, argue
about it, be surprised at how others saw the same words, be ok with that, and let it make you
Next week, you’ll be reading a whole new column because you’ll have a whole new
columnist, Chelsea Keat, and you’re going to love her writing. She has a terrific background,
experiences, and a perfect education for a writer as well as great ties to Frankenmuth.
See you at the Library!