|This is Hope Decker|
Hello there, Harriet here, today I am visiting the Cohocton Public Library in Cohocton, New York. I just love small towns and this one is one of the best I’ve seen on my trip so far. Anyhoo, I came into the library to wait for my next bus. They can few and far between in more rural places and I sat down with Hope Decker, the Library Director. We had a lovely chat. Here’s what we talked about to the best of my recollection.
Harriet: I love this little town. It’s so quaint and just beautiful in the Spring. So you work here at the library. Why don’t you tell me about that. You can tell us about any special events that are coming up. Who knows maybe Joyce Magnin, you know her, she’s the author who wrote my book, can come up for a visit one day.
|The Cohocton Public Library|
Hope: I am so glad you stopped by, Harriet and welcome to our town. The Cohocton Public Library is near and dear to my heart; sometimes I call it my fourth child. A little under a year ago we moved from a small garage to this large storefront here on Maple Avenue. We’ve been expanding our programs (now that we have room) and many, many more people have been coming to the library! I love working here because I get to serve the entire community, from the toddlers at storytime to the teenagers at our extreme cupcake decorating contest to older adults looking for computer instruction. On Saturday April 21st, we are celebrating our 35th anniversary by having a Birthday Party Open House. We want to highlight what the library, other organizations and businesses in Cohocton have to offer. I am so excited about this! We’ll also be having a student art show, poster contest, a visit from a horse!, raffles for great door prizes and some fun stuff for kids to do.
In May we will be having an Iron Chef competition for teens, Tie Dye with Sharpies (for any age) and of course the ever popular storytimes, our weekly crafty kids programs and our book club. I have so much fun doing these kind of things!
Harriet: Oh my goodness, that all sounds just so delightful and interesting. Libraries are truly some of the best places on Earth. You must love books. Do you have any favorites?
|Aiden Decker reading the newspaper. A Cutie.|
Hope: I love books about ordinary people in small towns, some of my favorites are The Help by Katherine Stockett, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, books by Fannie Flagg and I’ve just discovered Joyce Magnin!!! They write about people just like the ones I know.
Harriet: Did you know that some reviewers have compared Joyce Magnin to Fannie Flagg? Joyce is just so honored and tickled about that. Do you remember when you fell in love with books? I do, I was nine years old reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Books.
Hope: I loved Where’s Wallace by Hillary Knight, I’d pour over the illustrations on each page for hours trying to find Wallace and the other characters in the book. I read the Little House on the Prairie series and the Chronicles of Narnia; I was bereft when both series ended. I remember sobbing after finishing The Last Battle.
Harriet: Oh dear, I know what you mean. Did you know that when Joyce was a little girl her father had to often pull her out of the bathroom late at night because she was inside, sitting in the bathtub with a flashlight reading. What do you like best about living in a small town?
Hope: There is something so wonderful about knowing the people you see on the street, and there is something especially wonderful about being known. While getting my mail or buying milk, I am not anonymous. A few months ago my son Aidan crossed the street without looking while a car was coming. The car stopped thankfully and Lisa, who was working in Carey’s Grocery, (just across the street from the library) let Aidan know he had to be more careful when crossing the street! I love that she cared enough to say something to him. I have only lived in Cohocton for 7 years but I feel like I belong here and I am a part of it somehow. I care deeply about people here and want to see my little town and its residents flourish.
Harriet: Oh my, small towns are a blessing. Tell me about your family, dear. Anybody you want to give a shout out too? HA! I learned that from the kids.
Hope: Oh, this is my favorite subject! My husband Andrew is a teacher up in Rochester. We have two children in college: Abby and Alex and our youngest, Aidan is 9 years old. Our children are creative, smart, funny and kind; we are sort of amazed we get to be their parents. We got our first dog last May, her name is Juniper. She’s a mix breed from a rescue. She is such a joy… enthusiastic, eager and energetic! I think we won the dog lottery.
Harriet: One of the things I’ve been doing on this trip is trying to understand what it means to feel God’s pleasure. What does that mean to you?
Hope: Sometimes I feel God’s pleasure but sometimes I don’t feel it. Either way I obey and trust God and keep going forward. I believe God is always good and has my best interest in mind, regardless of how I feel at any particular moment. I think of the delight I have in my own kids. How much I enjoy watching them just living their lives. This must be how God feels about us; I think He delights in us living this life He gave us.
Harriet: Uh, oh, my bus is coming and I better catch it. Thank you for visiting with me. Happy Trails!
Hope: Thank you for stopping by Harriet, I’m so glad I got to meet you! I enjoyed our visit.