18 December 2022

The Very Last Day Of A Very Good Library (Well, This Version Of It, Anway)


This is, as Jerry Clower once said, a momentum occiasion.

I've got a couple of photos to share with you all, as I usually do. They come with a story, as they usually do. It's better sweet.

This is the interior of the Mighty Mighty Midland Branch of the Multnomah County Library as I took mere minutes ago. This is the last time I'll ever see it, at least this way.

The Multnomah County Library is going on a buildng initiative. This will include making the Gresham branch the east side flagship and updating neighborhood branches into something resembling true community centers.

First two up are Holgate and Midland. This means that Midland will be closed for the next year and a half while the revisions are being made and, so, I'm pretty torn about this. Firstly, I've seen the diagrams and artist's conceptions of what Midland will look like as of the middle of 2024, and it's going to be a library user's paradise, straight up. Big wide areas for sitting and meeting, a big patio extension so you can enjoy the library outside when the weather is fine, big meeting areas. Really lovely. But we have grown so very accustomed to Midland-the-way-it-is, the comfort and familiarity, that we are feeling like a cornerstone of our lives is being taken away.

I mean, this building itself is scarcely 25 years old. Hardly even broken in, as buildings go. And it has the most lovely them, that of "Talking Leaves" ... there are leaves in the ceiling, as one can see. That was part of the design. The delightful and huge painting anchoring the east end, near the main entry is a landmark of life. 

The work itself is called Talking Leaves. I don't know the name of the artist but I'll have it before I leave the building. 

There's poetry on the outside of the building and I imagine it'll go. I do hope the painting is in the next edition of this building.

We want to honor the memory of Midland-that-was. We have had more than 15 happy years coming and going from here, and I'm sure we'll have a number happy years after the new version opens, but the interregnum will be a bit of an ordeal. We'll probably be visting Rockwood, or Gresham if Rockwood's too busy. Rockwood is definitely where we're going to be picking up our holds. It's on the way to things, in this new life.

Abysinnia, Midland-that-was. 

I'll miss the clock tower. 

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