Library a place for many happy coincidences
Last updated 2/26/2020 at 4:33pm | View PDF
Last summer, "Number Neighbors" trended on social media. Out of the blue, people were reaching out to the cell number with the final digit one up or one down from their own. The results were mixed. Some people were confused, some joked, some were angry and some ignored the message altogether. Some people, though, connected and discovered shared commonalities through this chance randomness.
This serendipity, a happy result brought about by chance, seemed to be a driver of the experiment. Thinking about these happy accidents was a reminder that libraries can be hotbeds of serendipity. When card catalogs first transitioned from huge cabinets to computers, some users bemoaned the loss of serendipity in libraries, but I disagree. It still thrives.
Library staff see surprise encounters of excited preschool classmates spotting each other across activity tables or community members catching up with someone they haven't seen in years. Browsing is an exercise in serendipity. Coming to pick up a hold might result in the discovery that a favorite author has a new book out and browsing the new DVDs might yield a recently returned Oscar winner. Have you ever come in and left with an unexpected pick from a display? Our displays point to topics, authors or intersections.
The recently delivered spring newsletter is full of programming that, like "Number Neighbors," can bring about happy, unexpected connections and shared interests except with your actual Hinsdale neighbors.
The new Library Edition Book Discussion meets to discuss contemporary fiction and nonfiction every other month. Join us on March 18 to connect with other readers and discuss "The Only Woman in the Room" by Ruth Benedict.
At Hinsdale Bite Club, attendees know the topic, but the recipes are a surprise. Expect to taste new things and bring a dish of your own. Prepare your favorite meatless Monday go-to for the next Bite Club featuring vegetarian cooking on April 14.
HPL Book Boxes are all about happy surprises - a book selected based on your interests along with a few surprise treats. We still have a few openings for the spring HPL Book Box for March to May.
Cyber Sleuthing Your Family Tree on April 2 will show you the first steps to take to use the vast amount of genealogy information online to find the gems that mean something for your family tree.
Colors and Coffee is a chance to join local artist Maureen Claffy in a discussion of color and explore your inner artist with hands-on instruction.
Speaking of serendipity - the 2001 movie by that name starred Kate Beckinsale and Chicago native John Cusack. Cusack starred in the movie "High Fidelity" (based on the book by Nick Hornby), which is now the basis for a TV series on Hulu starring Zoe Kravitz who was in HBO's "Big Little Lies" (based on a book by Liane Moriarty). The new series features a cameo by Parker Posey, who perfectly mashed up late nights and librarianship in the in the cult indie film "Party Girl." Libraries ... you never know what you'll discover.
- Cynthia Dieden is the adult services manager at the Hinsdale Public Library.