November is a time for giving thanks and expressing our gratitude towards others. Here at the Walnut Public Library we extend our gratitude year round. Our small community is lucky to have many individuals that volunteer their time, use their skills to assist others, and when possible, make monetary donations to organizations throughout.
I often try to start my day with gratitude. We truly are blessed with a house to live in, food on the table, clothes on our back and the opportunity to change into a new outfit the next day. We have a community of individuals that care, people who dedicate their time to serve on boards, committees, volunteer on our local fire department, and at events through town to bring our community together. We have been equally blessed with the impact of volunteers and donors at our public library.
We give thanks for Bob Glaser and his donation of new computers, workstations, and a baby play yard to the library. Bob’s idea of a generous donation actually started with an article that was run in the Washington Post about a public library that had a parent-child friendly computer station design. This workstation allowed for a parent to be working on the computer with a baby play yard attached. The design is brilliant and the article received lots of positive feedback regarding the library’s upgrade. Bob thought Walnut could benefit from the same design and brought the article to my attention. From there we started to research specifics regarding sizing, warranty, and pricing. The main concern was the size of the workstation and the amount of room we had to work with at our own library. The workstations were an excellent idea but not feasible with the amount of floor space we had to work with. I continued to research and found some smaller workstations that would work with the space we had available and a play yard that could fold up for storage and be expanded when in use for our children’s library. Bob and I went over the specifics and agreed to move forward with this new plan. Bob has generously donated eight computers, four computer workstations for upstairs, one computer workstation for downstairs, and a baby play yard. Bob’s donation has afforded our library to have computer accessibility in our children’s library area for adults and children to use. This large donation is made in memory of his late wife Catherine A. Glaser. Donation plaques will accompany each computer workstation in the next month.
We give thanks to Dave & Lois Behrens for two handcrafted trees in the children’s library. As I was researching the computer workstation in the article Bob brought me I came across a beautiful tree designed by the same company. I printed a picture out with every intention to add it to my husband’s “to-do” list (like he needs anything more)! I was speaking about the trees one day when Lois was visiting the library and she said “Show me the picture of the tree you’re talking about,” she wanted to show it to Dave. Within a few days Dave and Lois visited with me again to let me know Dave was interested in making the trees in the picture for our library. If you know me, and know my love for children’s books, then you can only imagine the sparkle in my widening eyes when he announced his news to me! So over the course of the next few months Dave was in and out taking measurements and constructing the trees in his garage. When Dave came in to put the trees together he let me know that he and Lois had decided to donate the materials to the library. My eyes teared up when I saw the trees assembled and in place in our children’s library. A focal point to say the least, assisting in creating a warm and welcoming environment for generations to come. A donation plaque will also be mounted on one of the trees in dedication of Dave & Lois for their generous donation.
The library has a few anonymous donors that deserve recognition. One of our anonymous donors has donated the recliners, couches, and end tables that are available in our adult library. This couple is very kind, generous, and a pure joy to have in visiting the library. Over the course of the past few years we’ve had monetary donations come in from $5.00 amounts on up. Those donations are kept in a separate savings account and afforded our library the ability to purchase new shelving for our children’s department after the building renovations were complete. Monetary donations are earmarked for specific use when requested or saved for larger updates like mentioned above.
Our Walnut Rotary club and Bryant club have been an asset to the library. Walnut Rotary recently donated 46 books to the library! Most of those books are still in transit but all of them have been ordered and are on their way in. Rotary also donates a book each month in honor of their guest speakers. Bryant Club was founded in June of 1899 and is still active! When Bryant Club discusses their books and finds one they feel the library must have, the club purchases the book and dedicates it to the library. The ladies of Bryant Club are a joy to have conversation with and a blessing to our community.
Like I mentioned earlier we have many patrons who volunteer their time. Numerous individuals have dedicated time to organizing the genealogy and historical collection of information regarding Walnut in the library. Jeannie Wilt and Sharon Free are two invaluable individuals who have taken binders home to organize, help sort through information and collaborate on timelines. We have many other individuals that have assisted and hope to have more come together during the winter months to complete an update on Walnut’s history. This project is a huge undertaking and it wouldn’t be possible to complete without all of our patrons.
I personally would like to give a big thanks to our board, our staff, and my husband. The library Board of Trustees has been encouraging and supportive with programming, projects, and updates. The staff works hard, listens to my list of ideas and always finds a way to help make any idea happen. My husband is a jack of all trades and has spent endless hours with me at Menards through the library renovation, hauling supplies, listening to updates, and making many visions into reality. He’s finishing his portion of construction on the children’s library as you read this in preparation for the open house and it couldn’t look any more perfect for our small town. Make sure to check out the Lego area, the chalkboard and corkboard area he installed.
I’m grateful for our patrons, for kind words and cards of thanks. Receiving a thank you card is almost a thing of the past. It’s not often that people have time to drop a note of gratitude due to busy schedules. Words of encouragement, giving thanks, compliments, constructive feedback are all things I’m grateful for as Director of our library. So many patrons have taken a moment to speak their gratitude for our library. Kind words stay with you, thank you notes encourage you, when people show gratitude it’s uplifting and it makes the day brighter.
Kind words are invaluable, cost nothing, and certainly make the best gift. We here at the library are thankful year round for our patrons who utilize the library and for our community who supports us. I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and encourage you to stop by our Open House on Saturday, November 26th from 9A.M.-1P.M.