Greenwich Free Library

July Newsletter

Fly Me To The Moon

This June, as in years past, our wonderful elementary librarian, Katrina Williams, very generously let me take over her classes to promote the Summer Reading Program. This year's theme is "A Universe of Stories", in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.


I started each session with a video clip of highlights from the Apollo 11 mission; setting the stage with some shocking facts: There were only 3 television channels! There was no internet! There were no cell phones! Nearly everyone in this country and in many places around the world was having the same edge-of-the-seat viewing experience at the same time! The kids were all mesmerized by the video even though, unlike those who watched at the time, they knew there would be a happy ending. (They also were amazed, as I always am, to learn that the cell phones we all carry are squilions of times more powerful than the computers that got those guys to the moon and back.)


Although there is a lot to be said for having access to so much more information and so many different viewpoints, it's easy these days to be nostalgic for that kind of unifying moment. Today's kids can't even imagine it. They are surrounded by relentless, infinite, 24/7 input. They have to navigate in an information environment where the moon landing hoax notion can become credible simply by unrefuted repetition.


It has been said that in space no one can hear you scream. These days on Earth, it seems that no one can hear themself think. We have accidentally immersed ourselves in an experiment to see how our Bronze-Age brains will hold up in a silicon-based society. So far, the news isn't all that good.


To balance out all that noise this summer, we are creating lots of opportunities to get outside, to interact face-to-face, to gaze up at the marvelous night sky and dream and, of course, to find the perfect book for some hard-earned quiet time. Hope to see you soon.


-Annie

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