A library please – not a fishbowl

A library is a special place, a sanctuary of books and atmosphere, enhanced by nooks seemingly meant just for you. A feeling of voluntary seclusion.

Old fashioned libraries have always appealed to me; their history and secrets seem to linger in the air. These libraries are rare and hard to find, much as overlooked gems, in our modern times.

Lovett Memorial Library is one of them.

Books have a feeling of old friends, especially in older libraries that have kept their true character. The hushed quiet is a welcome relief from the everyday world outside.

Not a modern fishbowl. Let me explain briefly. I think of this as an open area with no feeling of walls, where everything is seen as one and also at once. No dividing areas, including the muted solace of book corridors. No places to “hide,”which most enjoy. Designed largely to be popular, fishbowls collect people but lack warmth. They are fine in a superficial sense, for social gathering, casual conversation and coffee.

But a library they are not. They are a come-and-go place, not a sit awhile and read and relax place.

And I would ask: popular for whom? “The public” is an overused phrase that can conceal a particular interest. Would it be for the younger crowd? It seems to relate to an image more than a function. A cafe more than a library. There are other places for social gathering. Another thought not often expressed: Young children who burst verbally at random, piercing the silence, does annoy those who use a library.

A fishbowl is homogenized, not really a particular place or thing. A library is a library.

Please keep Lovett Memorial Library real. Preserve its natural atmosphere. Once that is lost, even if for change or to be more modern, that elusive character cannot be recovered. There is only one original.

Bruce Walters

Mt. Airy


Thanks for the wonderful profile

I would like to thank you for the wonderful article that Carole Verona wrote about me in the February 20 issue of the Chestnut Hill Local.

As you can imagine, I received many compliments not only from our customers, but from people on the Avenue. I was happy to see my article in the paper, but I was shocked to see you put me in the front page of the Local Life section. It was a very attractive layout too!

The headline made the people think that I am a “Superstar,” so I was a bit embarrassed by all of the attention.

I loved people’s comments about my motto of “doing the right thing” and I felt people really enjoyed reading the story. Keep up the good job there.

Roy Miyahara

Diamond Spa

Chestnut Hill


Happy ending for a parking ticket

Last Friday, March 7, was the hearing for my appeal for a parking ticket I received while visiting McNally’s Tavern in September, 2013. The initial hearing was on 12/23/13. I was found liable for the $26 violation.

My appeal was honored. The violation was dismissed. I explained the situation about the signage and the evolution of the parking policy at the Hilltop Road lot. Also how I felt the situation impacted local merchants in a negative way. It was indicated to me that the city-controlled kiosks were installed at the request of the local merchants or their representatives. That is a different scenario than I have heard.

If anyone is interested in contacting the authority regarding the signage, write to: Parking Authority Customer Service, 701 Market St., Suite 5400, Philadelphia, PA 19106. By email, you can contact SRuiz@philapark.org. For a complaint about the Kiosk/Meter Department, contact Jeff Fisher at jfisher@philapark.org. You can also use the Kiosk Complaint System to report any issues.

Dorothy McKelvey

Fort Washington


Watch out for ivy

Among the many assets we have in our community, the lovely trees are near the top of the list. There are many kinds which vary in shape, height and age. I like to look at them when they are leafless against the clear blue winter sky.

However, it comes to my attention that some of the larger, older species have a problem. They are supporting masses of overgrown ivy, which will eventually choke the host tree out of existence. How sad that would be!

If you have one of these trees on your property, ask one of our many talented arborists how to handle this. It would behoove us all to care for our trees as best as we are able.

Harriet H. Palmer

Mt. Airy