Forest Lodge Library

A joint library of the Cable & Namakagon communities.

The Directors Blog

Progress Report, January 2018

It's been just a bit over a year since the library acquired the property adjacent to us, and, if there's one thing we've learned...it's that everything takes time. Granted, we jumped on the opportunity to purchase the property, not because we had a definite idea of what we wanted to do with it, but, because we saw it as our best opportunity to both remain in our existing (and much beloved) location AND to build a library addition that would allow us to better serve the needs of our communities.

We spent some time talking with people who'd been involved in previous attempts at expansion and with others who'd undergone or were in the process of renovation efforts at their own libraries. Our summer "social" event, A Novel Affair, in addition to showcasing library services and having fun, was an opportunity to engage with our patrons about services they'd like to see offered, and features that would be appreciated in a library addition. We received further input on patrons wishes and needs via Cable Tomorrow, the Town of Cable's ongoing visioning process. Our Board, in a special meeting, reviewed all of this material and defined our own list of what we considered to be essential features of any library addition.

In the last several months we have established an interview committee and have interviewed three architectural firms, all who have some experience working with libraries. We are currently engaged in the process of visiting projects overseen by these various architects, which we hope will assist us in choosing the best fit for our project, community and budget. So far our travels have taken us east to Eagle River. We anticipate visits to Ely, Duluth/Superior and Iron River. While it can sometimes feel as though the process has stalled, these are weighty decisions, and we very much wish to exercise due diligence!

In the meantime, we and our patrons have enjoyed the use of the property! As you are likely aware, The Katie Flowers Endowment cleared out of the Depot out at the Cable Recreation Park and their book sale is now located in what we are calling the Bookhouse on that property. They had open hours nearly every Saturday through the end of September and were also open for Christmas in Cable. The library has used the property for a couple of MAKERSPACE events, one on how to fix your bicycle and another on starting a fire...without a match!

Stay tuned...we'll keep you posted! 

And, so you know, we are always open to hearing about what YOU'D like to see in a library addition!

Falling in Love Again

We never plan for it to happen. Even when someone says, “Hey, I think you’ll really like this guy!” we think, sure. Right. We’ll see. Sometimes we really DO! This time his name is Peter May. He was first recommended to me by Sarah Letke (now a Forest Lodge Library Staff member!) and the first title I read was THE BLACKHOUSE. I was so swept away I immediately sat down and ordered everything fairly current from Mr. May for our library. Although considered a mystery writer, his writing is so superb that it blurs the distinction between genre writing and literary fiction. His descriptions of the island landscape, the sea that surrounds it, the winds that batter it, the clouds that pass over it…make you want to visit immediately. Not live there…it sounds pretty harsh…but visit? Yes, absolutely.

THE BLACKHOUSE is the first in a series of three novels set on Lewis Island in the Hebrides and featuring Fin Macleod. Fin has taken a month away from his job with the Edinburgh police force following the tragic death of his 8 year old son, victim of a hit-and-run accident. Now, his boss insists it’s time to quit or come back to work and assigns him to assist in a murder investigation on Lewis Island, which happens to be the home that Fin has not visited since he left, eighteen years previously. His return immerses him in the language and community he left long ago and gives rise to memories of his past, many of which he’d as soon have forgotten. I loved everything about this book. The writing is wonderful. The descriptions of the landscape and the weather that is inflicted upon seem to let you see it, feel it, taste it. The story-lines, connecting Fin’s past to the current murder investigation, are skillfully managed. No one I’ve recommended this book to has expressed disappointment. In fact, most readers have, as I did myself, gone on to read the next two volumes in the trilogy as quickly as possible. I thought THE LEWIS MAN even better than THE BLACKHOUSE…and THE CHESSMEN was a satisfying read, as well. (yes, the library owns all these titles now!) I also read two “stand-alones” which I found satisfying: ENTRY ISLAND, which, while unrelated, continues to explore the history of the people of the Hebrides, and RUNAWAY, which was a kick for its reminiscences of swingin’ 60’s London in addition to being a solid crime novel. So. I have this advice for you. READ PETER MAY!