Friday, 15 March 2019

The Library is a Lighthouse

A special guest blog this month from Charles (Chuck) Boyer, who spent three weeks at Innerpeffray this Spring.  He gives a personal view on what that meant to him.

Thoughts on The Library of Innerpeffray

The Spirit of the Enlightenment believes that if given the light, the ordinary can become extraordinary.  I found this to be true at The Library of Innerpeffray. Lara Haggerty, and her team of volunteers, are ordinary people doing something extraordinary; they guard, protect and share a rare collection of books that are hundreds of years old.  They do so to share the knowledge of the past with those who come to read a book.  In this way they respect the dying wish of a Scottish aristocrat from the 1600s: they make available to the public a personal library of thousands of rare books: books one can touch, hold and read.  Their act, in the name of the love of learning, boggles the mind of a 21st century citizen; yet, it may be the one thing that can save us from the growing darkness of the digital age. 

I’ve had the good fortune to spent three weeks with this small group of volunteers. They are very well-read, articulate and dedicated to their work. Their conversations sparkle with wit, humor, apt quotations and knowledge of the human experience.  They are accepting, understanding, and nonjudgmental. They are humanists in a way we should all strive to be, yet so often fall short. It’s been an honor to be with them as they talk, work, take time for tea, and share stories about the world. This group is preserving the light of knowledge in a world preoccupied with itself and the destruction of others.  Their Library is an island of light in a digital sea; when they show us the past, these people remind us, it takes the truth to set us free… 

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