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Good Memories = Great Donations

   February 5th, 2008

Census Atlas of the United States coverLast week, we received a large package from the U. S. Census Bureau. In it was a copy of Census Atlas of the United States and a letter that read (in part):

I am pleased to be able to present the Chelmsford Public Library with a copy of the recently-published Census Atlas of the United States, a volume which I cooauthered with several colleagues at the Census Bureau here in Washington, DC.

...I wanted to personally send a copy to the Chelmsford Public Library as a way of expressing my profound gratitude to the library for the role it played in helping me discover my career as a demographer.

I grew up in Chelmsford...and as a kid spent many rainy Sunday afternoons at the Adams Library. When an elementary school research project required me to incorporate census data, I found myself in the top floor of the old library, poring through Census volumes with the assistance of the reference librarian. I didn't know it at the time, but those afternoons looking through old census volumes were my introduction to population statistics and to the Census Bureau, and a preview of what is now a rewarding and enjoyable career as a demographer and statistician for the federal government.

...Who knows - maybe [this donated volume] will inspire a future career path for some youngster spending quality in the library on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Not only is this a wonderful story, and a nice sentiment, but the atlas itself is pretty incredible. It is large, 12-1/4" x 15-1/4" - and almost every page is a glossy, full-color map of a particular population breakdown. Definitely a nice addition to our reference collection, and probably one that I wouldn't have purchased.

So, the moral of the story is, once again, a patron's library experience is critical to the health and longevity of a library.

donation, donations, experience, libraries, library, patron, patrons, public

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3 Responses to “Good Memories = Great Donations”

  1. Michelle Johnston Says:

    You’re right, it is a great gift and an even better back story. This co-author of the Census Atlas is my youngest brother and I can tell you that our family is immensely proud of his accomplishments at the Census Bureau. I hope that patrons of the Chelmsford library will check out the newest addition; it really is representative of the years of work from inception to publication. Kudos to all the authors!

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Michelle. I know I’m looking forward to using this atlas, and will delight in guiding patrons to it every chance I get – and will definitely let them know it was coauthored by a Chelmsford native.

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