The Pembroke Library

Pembroke, Virginia

The Pembroke Library is about nine feet wide by thirty feet long.It’s a full lending library, with four thousand books, two computers, a dozen movies, and, for almost fifteen years, the same congenial librarian, Claire Robertson.With no telephone and restricted hours—it’s open only two hours a day, four days a week—the place is tricky to visit.

For a very long time, the building sat on Main Street beside the historic Pembroke Hotel. A few years ago, the telephone co-op bought the land (for $1) for a new parking lot. The hotel was razed in the name of parking progress, but the bank around the corner agreed to let the Library sit on its lot.So a moving crew came over with a flatbed, lifted up the Library, and unceremoniously plopped it down around the corner. Claire and a friend personally moved all of the books to their basements before the transition, storing them until the new shelves were properly bolted down.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

To read the full piece, please visit our store to purchase a copy of the magazine.

—Benjamin Cohen

Benjamin Cohen is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia. He lives near Charlottesville with his wife, Chris, and two children. They all remain exceptional.

News on Facebook Photos on Instagram Stuff on Pinterest Announcements by RSS Sounds on Soundcloud Exclusives on Tumblr Updates on Twitter

Subscribe to our mailing list