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These days, I'm the director of the American Library Association' s Office for Intellectual Freedom. I'm also executive director and secretary of the Freedom to Read Foundation. See "About Me" for contact information.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cherokee Ranch

Douglas County has a castle. Once occupied by the uniquely named Tweet Kimball (a formidable and quirky presence, general's daughter, Churchill admirer, cattle baroness, et cetera), since her death it has become a kind of arts and culture museum (with occasional live performances of both theater and music).

Among the castle's many treasures are the most extraordinary view in Douglas County and a library that boasts a Shakespeare folio. I knew Tweet, and remember being shown to her library. The folio was next to a Reader's Digest condensed book. And there was some kind of little dog that had a tendency to lift its leg against volumes on the lowest shelf.

Things are better now.

I met today with several good folks from Cherokee Ranch. They're looking for a way to expose more people to their treasures. Their notion was to develop some kind of programming that highlighted Tweet's many first editions, and educated the public about both Cherokee Ranch and the value of preservation. It seemed a good partnership with the library.

So we spent some time outlining what a book lover event might look like at the library, and I think came up with something quite wonderful. More to follow, after analysis.

In keeping with my previous post, however, it's worth noting that it's always hard to add something to the plate. But this one directly addresses a major focus of our patrons: they want author events, they want experiences with literature.

I believe that one of the trends of 21st century library is the partnership of public library and museum. We both have a lot to learn from each other.

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