When the library was located at 904 Main St. there was limited space for books, and even less room for Christmas decorations. The move to 752 Main St. increased usable space from 1,000 square feet to 4,800 square feet. Former owners of the building, Marsha and Morgan Brown, graciously left us several items still in use. These include the east-southeast section of the circulation desk, a card display rack and an antique display case. Throughout the years we’ve filled the case with collections, our own as well as those from the community. Currently, there is a display of vintage children’s books and a few toys.
Those who enjoy collecting know collection price guides are often found for sale in flea markets. They might help you determine the brand of your great-grannie’s prized china, but they become out-dated in no time. So, we don’t have those among the library’s inventory. But we do hold a lot of decorating books, and craft books about making your own collectibles. If you enjoy making crafts, you might get some gift ideas for next year. It’s never too early to start! Over the last month we’ve held several adult craft sessions where some interesting Christmas crafts could be made, that could well be collectibles in years to come.
Many may remember collecting cars and trucks, or dolls when they were young. The anticipation of getting a new addition to a collection was part of the joy of Christmas for many children. These were played with and showed signs of wear. These days, some children are given gifts in boxes that go straight to closet shelves, never to be opened. As collectibles they are assumed to increase in value one day. Not much fun for children who receive them right now, though.
In trying to remember what I collected as a child, I thought about my dolls. I still have some of them, but they are worth little because they are well-traveled. One shelf high on the wall of my room held my collection of horses. There are only three left, and those are also worse for wear. My grandmother gave me a collection of old coat buttons in a little box that began a lifetime search for others like them. I still add to the stash now and then.
As the only girl in my family, I’ve become the recipient of items from both grandmothers, a step-grandmother, my mother-in-law and several older church friends. Many of these have mostly sentimental value. In addition, I began visiting flea markets in the 1970s to begin choosing my own collectibles. Most are not on display, as I’m not fond of dusting. I also know the younger generations of my family will not want them. Historical museums turn down many items due to space constraints, and only want photos of the items. If you’re overwhelmed with your lifetime of collections, we have books that suggest how to let them find new homes. I’ll never be a minimalist, but I need to read these myself.
In the meantime, if you have a collection of which you’re proud and would like to display it in the library, please let us know. You’ll spread the joy of your meaningful items and may spark an interest in a young person to begin collecting. If they begin at age ten as I did, one day they may show off their collection in a library of the future.
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