Annie Proulx

A description of the fictitious Woolybucket Library in the Texas Panhandle, but one that those of us involved in the fight to save libraries and archives in the UK from the austerity miseries and misanthropes can well recognise. 

“The Woolybucket Library was a wonderful place and Bob imagined that anyone writing a ranch history would enjoy happy hours in it…”

“The library was in the old Frontier Bank building, high-ceilinged, sunny, paneled and fitted with walnut shelves shipped up into the panhandle after they were taken from a Galveston mansion wrecked by the great hurricane that brought the city to its knees in 1900. Over the years the library board had somehow resisted selling off the good books and replacing them with romances, westerns and mystery fodder. There were hundreds of scarce Texas books on its shelves, but the treasure, Bob thought, was in the storage room, boxes and boxes of papers and account books from regional ranches, rolls of maps, scrapbooks of photographs, huge bound volumes of old newspapers from Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and from Kansas and New Mexico, including the Crooky’s Border Star, The Weekly Western Argus, the Woolybucket Expositor, Roughbug Bee, Council Grove Process and the like.”

Page 264, Annie Proulx, That Old Ace in the Hole, (Fourth Estate, London, 2002)

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