Thursday, December 6, 2012

Léran's new village library.

   One of the differences between France and North America is its sheer numbers of bookshops. Mirepoix (population around 4,000) has a good independently run one on the main square. Even the nearby SuperU has a commendable book selection. Pamiers--four times as large--has three bookshops that I know of. The departmental capital, Foix, a town of around 10,000, has the huge Majuscule store--one of a chain--and a couple more. And on it goes.... 
   And libraries are everywhere.
   (Drifting off-topic for a moment. You would think that librairie is French for "library." It's not. A librairie is a bookshop. A library, as we know it, is called a bibliothèque.)
   For the past several months, work has been underway on Léran's new library, which now occupies a brand-new space above the former mairie
   Some days ago, invitations were hand-delivered to all residents, with a request to respond if we were attending. 
   Official red-white-and-blue ribbon-cutting by our mayor, Henri Barrou, took place around 5:30 p.m., and the crowd and the queue outside all ascended the brand-new flight of stairs into the new, bright space. It's terrific with upbeat orange walls, lots of seating and books for little kids, and a collection of fiction and non-fiction that I can't wait to get my teeth into, metaphorically speaking.

   Our next-door neighbour, David Hilton (of created the official signage.
   That's our mayor giving an official welcome. Local and regional representatives, who also spoke, consistently referred to his tenacité in getting this vastly improved library up and running. Yay, Henri!

       Over to the Salle des Tilleuls for cork-popping, a spread of charcuterie, and a story-telling performance.

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