Pallas Athena at the Springfield Central Library. Photo by Don Treeger for The Republican.

Springfield Libraries show marked increase in patrons and dollars. More great press for the Springfield City Library!

Pallas Athena at the Springfield Central Library. Photo by Don Treeger for The Republican.

Springfield Libraries show marked increase in patrons and dollars. More great press for the Springfield City Library!

"If tiny flakes of calcareous sand cannot unlock all the secrets, assume a vastly different perspective: from an Apollo 9 capsule 120 miles above the dunes. That is what astronaut Rusty Schweickart did at 10:00 a.m. on March 12, 1969, when he snapped a hand-held Hasselblad camera and captured the Outer Banks from Nags Head to Cape Lookout. Space lore has it that the Banks were the only landmark unobscured by clouds that day. 

The now-famous photograph clearly shows the islands of Hatteras, Ocracoke, and Portsmouth and the Pamlico Sound that bathes them from the west. It shows the fans of sand where sound water hurries through the inlets out to sea. It also exposes a thin dune line that parallels the Outer Banks several miles inland. Known as the Suffolk Scarp, it is the geological remnant of an earlier coast—a sure sign that the Outer Banks will not stay put, as sea-level rise, relentless winds, and climate changes roll the islands westward. 

Few can duplicate the astronaut’s perspective. But anyone can stand on the beach, gaze out to sea, taste the salt, feel the wind’s caress, watch the birds overhead, glimpse the ghost crab, and know that they are all connected, part of one continuum. It is a connection that has lured seafarers, scientists, tinkerers, pirates, explorers, and pilots to the Outer Banks since, in 1524, Giovanni da Verrazano sent twenty-five men ashore “in the latitude of 34 degrees,” now believed to be an area between Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras.”

-from A Ribbon of Sand, by John Alexander and James Lazell

Essential pre-vacation reading.

"If tiny flakes of calcareous sand cannot unlock all the secrets, assume a vastly different perspective: from an Apollo 9 capsule 120 miles above the dunes. That is what astronaut Rusty Schweickart did at 10:00 a.m. on March 12, 1969, when he snapped a hand-held Hasselblad camera and captured the Outer Banks from Nags Head to Cape Lookout. Space lore has it that the Banks were the only landmark unobscured by clouds that day.

The now-famous photograph clearly shows the islands of Hatteras, Ocracoke, and Portsmouth and the Pamlico Sound that bathes them from the west. It shows the fans of sand where sound water hurries through the inlets out to sea. It also exposes a thin dune line that parallels the Outer Banks several miles inland. Known as the Suffolk Scarp, it is the geological remnant of an earlier coast—a sure sign that the Outer Banks will not stay put, as sea-level rise, relentless winds, and climate changes roll the islands westward.

Few can duplicate the astronaut’s perspective. But anyone can stand on the beach, gaze out to sea, taste the salt, feel the wind’s caress, watch the birds overhead, glimpse the ghost crab, and know that they are all connected, part of one continuum. It is a connection that has lured seafarers, scientists, tinkerers, pirates, explorers, and pilots to the Outer Banks since, in 1524, Giovanni da Verrazano sent twenty-five men ashore “in the latitude of 34 degrees,” now believed to be an area between Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras.”

-from A Ribbon of Sand, by John Alexander and James Lazell

Essential pre-vacation reading.

That time the branch was front page news.

That time the branch was front page news.

Photo gallery from The Republican of our Farm Festival last night. Great weather, great turn-out, and a great launch to our new outdoor programming space. Thanks to OCLC and Redbox for supporting libraries as public spaces!

Photo gallery from The Republican of our Farm Festival last night. Great weather, great turn-out, and a great launch to our new outdoor programming space. Thanks to OCLC and Redbox for supporting libraries as public spaces!

Upper Greeley Pond. White Mountain National Forest, NH. July 2014.

Upper Greeley Pond. White Mountain National Forest, NH. July 2014.

Little A’Le’Inn. Rachel, NV. June 2014.

Little A’Le’Inn. Rachel, NV. June 2014.

Bryce Canyon, UT. July 2014.

Bryce Canyon, UT. July 2014.

Recent state high point hikes. Sunset against Mt. Frissell’s south slope (CT) and a foggy morning on Mt. Mansfield (VT).

Last day of training at the ALA Public Innovators Cohort. We’re learning new tools for community engagement. Draining but amazing.

Last day of training at the ALA Public Innovators Cohort. We’re learning new tools for community engagement. Draining but amazing.

Public librarian.
Retired journalist,
aspiring magician.
Western Mass.

twitter.com/jefflambert



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