Our library grows, but it is not about simply having as many books as possible. It’s quality before quantity. What is the quantity? Including duplicate titles we have 4,130 books.
There have been times in the past when people donated books because they didn’t know what to do with them. Those we had to haul off to a thrift store.
Today thanks to the internet, most particularly AbeBooks.com, when a book needs to be replaced because it is too worn I am frequently able to replace a paperbound book which is falling apart with a good hardcover edition. Every now and then I can score a first edition.
We now have one section which is just for first edition and rare books.
This year Rev. Frank (Lizard) began downsizing his library. He wants to ensure that certain books from his library end up here. He looked through the books here with care so that he would be helping the library and not simply adding books. There are some wonderful treasures.
Among the best of the books the library received this year was a first edition of A Modern Herbal by Maud Grieves, edited by Hilda Leyel. Thanks to Myke Hutchings for that treasure.
We are almost at the point at which a synopsis of every book is available. Making all of this information available is a challenge. The section Wicca, Neopaganism and Witchcraft has 386 different titles. The list by simply author and title is nine pages long. The document which includes a synopsis of each title is more than 60 pages long.
The section Herbals, Ethnobotany, Phytomedicine has 477 titles. The author and title list is ten pages long but the full synopsis listing is 75 pages long.
I believe the value of this library is for the coming generations when many of these titles are no longer in print. Current usage is low, given that books must be sent by post. In the coming years it is believed that people will be able to spend time here with the books.
Truth be told, I no longer have confidence that religions and churches like ours will enjoy the same degree of protection and status that we have today. There is growing intolerance and the separation of church and state which was an important facet of life in the United States for so long has quietly eroded.
Maintaining a strong library when climate change, social unrest and shifting political values create an uncertain future is important to us. Forgive us if we seem protective of the books.
The majority of the books may be checked out by Voting Members. The library is open to the public for on-site reading and research by appointment.