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My Library: Lily R. Wu


On Wednesday, November 9, the New Horizons Band for Adults played a concert at Chatham Square Library before an appreciative audience. It was their premiere performance at this library, and for a member of the flute section, it was a homecoming.

Lily, we had a conversation before the show about how you used to come to Chatham Square Library as a kid. So, tell me a little about your history with this library.

I came here when I was about five or six. My mother brought me to the library and took me up to the second floor to the Children's Room. I was so fascinated by the Fairy Tale section that I borrowed the limit, which at that time was 10 books. I think my life might have been different if she had put me in the math or sciences section! With the fairy tales, I always loved that idea of people of diverse backgrounds working together and going on a quest fighting evil or something.

And you became inspired?

When I was here, the librarian had a story hour and she would come around with a candle. She wouldn't even have to say anything, we kind of knew we were supposed to follow her, and she would read us stories. I was so captivated by that, I decided I would become a librarian. So I went to CUNY Queens College for a master's degree in library science. I did an internship at one point at Bloomingdale Library at West 100th Street.

So this is a special place for you.

Yeah, it's great to come back and be able to share the music that we love. Hamilton-Madison House and the Third Street Music School originally started the program, and it's a big, big thrill for us. You know, members are 50 and over and here's our chance to do it!

Do you play more music than read these days?

I always have to have a book on me. I probably read 100 books a year. Every three or four days I've got to have a new book.

Favorite genre?

I like to read books on creativity. I like British novelists like Anne Perry, mystery, Regency romances, how-to books... I guess I read a little of anything. I just like that idea that you get to travel in time and space. You're reading, but you're in another place, you're in another time. Or you're reading something that someone spent a lot of time putting together, condensing their knowledge or their passion or their interests, and it's wonderful. You're sharing that time with them through a book.


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