Margaret Bell a strong advocate for Lincoln’s libraries

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Name: Margaret Bell Age: 86 City: Citrus Heights Family: Margaret has one daughter, two sons, and two grandchildren Margaret Bell belongs to the Lincoln Poetry Club, which meets 3 p.m. every other Sunday at the Twelve Bridges Library. One of her poems was recently read at the Let’s Do Lunch For Our Libraries fundraiser. How did you get involved with the Lincoln Poetry Club? I went to American River College and took every creative-writing class they had. After I retired at 67, I started treating my poetry writing more seriously. I went to a Sierra College course where Sue Clark was teaching and I’ve been a student of hers ever since. She holds poetry classes every week in Lincoln, and as a result, I joined the Lincoln Poetry Club. What keeps you coming to Lincoln for the poetry club? I like the way they operate and I like what they do for the community. I like the time they spend with the schools on the poetry contest and how they continue to encourage people to write poetry. What inspired you to write a poem about Lincoln’s Carnegie Library? I was well aware of what that library has done in the past and how it’s helped children. I did some research on its history, did research on Andrew Carnegie and put it all together. I just think that it’s a legacy the city should not sacrifice. Why do you think saving the Carnegie Library is so important? I think any library is important, but in particular, the Lincoln library has such a history and I think that’s a very important thing. I hate to see the economy as an excuse for getting rid of a historic library. I’m in favor of having both but it seems to be such a sacrilege. I’m a great supporter of the book you can hold in your hands. How long have you been writing poetry? I’ve been writing poetry pretty much since high school. My first poem published was in the yearbook because it was a parody of the song, “We’ll Meet Again,” and I wrote it to match my high school class. What do you like about writing poetry? It’s such a neat thing to do because musicians can play music far into retirement and poets can write far into retirement. It’s a way for me to express the way I personally see life and it’s a way of connecting with people. “Use your early years learning as much as you can, your middle years earning as much as you can, and the last years living and generously giving to worthwhile causes, promoting the efforts of man.” Andrew Carnegie Save the Carnegie Save Lincoln’s treasure, a history making measure of one man’s commitment to do well and do good. It’s part of a legacy left by a Scotsman who came to America; earned money and fame; then used his power to help others do the same. He said, “The man who dies rich dies disgraced.” He left his mark on this place which must not be erased. Do we, who have long enjoyed the benefits derived from this gift to our community, have the right to abandon this monument to a generous man? Did we not promise to maintain this center of learning and literacy which bears his name, this place to shelter the roots of growing minds over time? We have an obligation to pass to future generations, this safe for the civilization that will survive in the world we create, Do we want to close this historic sanctuary for the printed word? No. Preserve this old harbor for books that have outlived their authors. Tossed into the sea of internet transmissions, changed word by word by high tech tampering, books may no longer represent the minds that created them. Let’s welcome the new, but preserve the old for all those who value a book to hold. Save the Carnegie. Margaret Bell If you would like to see a neighbor or friend featured here, please e-mail or call Stephanie Dumm at 774-7967.