Feel the love at the library

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By Amy Morgeson

Often times Jama Watts, our genealogy room supervisor, will receive requests from out of state and even locally for print outs of date specific newspaper articles that pertain to research that someone is doing, be it family history or otherwise. While we don’t have the staff to dedicate someone entirely to doing research for the public, Jama, for a small donation to the genealogy collection ($5 per request), does her best to research small items as time allows.  Occasionally in her research she’ll run across items pertaining to the library itself, which she will print out and share with the staff here.
Today was one of those days when Jama printed out a small article to share with us. While we realize that the history of a small town public library might seem a bit uneventful to many we couldn’t help but smile at what was found today and want to share that article with the public:

Jan. 25, 1925
(The Lebanon Enterprise)

At the Marion County Free Public Library in December the circulation was 633 volumes. During the month several donations were received, between 25 and 30 good books being thus added to the collection.
A very delightful service was rendered by a small boy who attended the Children’s Story Hour on the last Saturday morning of the month. He had heard of the certain difficulties which have to be faced by the librarian every time a fire is started in the stove at the library, and he brought with him to the story hour a basket bedecked in holiday colors and filled to the top with kindling; nice and dry and split fine just ready for use. It was a much appreciated gift.

Over 88 years have passed but the library is still alive and growing. In a given month we circulate eight to nine thousand items in comparison to the 633 books from long ago. Our collection has grown to 46,685 and rising. That includes a collection of over 1,800 DVD’s, over 1,200 audio books, over 500 music cd’s and that number doesn’t even include the thousands of online downloadable e-books and audio books available through our participation in Kentucky Libraries Unbound. We have computers for the public, wifi access and even an amazing genealogy room (with a collection that is added to monthly) where you can find out great family and local history like what I shared above. While the amount and assortment of items we have to offer has changed there are many things that remain the same.
We still have story time. In fact we have programs for all ages, babies to adults. We still have wonderful people from the community who donate books and more to the library. We have wonderful children and parents who visit us daily and often times give more to the library staff with their kind words, actions and expressions of appreciation than they leave with in books and fun memories of activities they’ve participated in. We have a great group of teen and tween volunteers that, though fulfilling school requirements, grow to become a real part of the library family and real asset to adding all those little extras to what we offer. We have a great group of adults who volunteer their time and talents through the Marion County Friends of the Public Library group, for whom we are forever grateful to. We also still have an amazing staff who is dedicated to offering the best and most that they can to the community that they love so much. I guess what I’m saying is that we still have heart.  
It truly makes all of us here happy to see that we are continuing to offer the services and resources to the community in the same heartfelt manner that our predecessors started this establishment with. It makes us even happier to know that we still have the same kind of giving community today that we had back when one little boy went out of his way to make keeping the library warm a little bit easier. We hope that the warmth that began back then will keep going and going through the years to come and that we continue to give back to the community as much as they continue to give us.
All that said we hope to see you during this month of “love.” We have many exciting events planned including Valentine themed story times, teen and tween crafting, book and writing groups, film club for adults and even a Dr. Seuss birthday party (for all ages) to be held on Thursday, Feb. 28, from 5-6 p.m.  This month begins several months of celebration for things like Read Across America Day, Library/Librarian Appreciation Week and excitedly the installment of our new Symphony Computer System. Stop in to learn more, pick up a calendar of events or maybe just to cozy up with a free cup of coffee and a good book.  While we aren’t heated by wood anymore you’ll still find us warm and inviting all the same! Happy Valentine’s Day and happy reading from the library family to yours! Call (270) 692-4698 for questions regarding library events or services.  Also visit our website www.marioncopublic.org “like” us on Facebook or even follow us on Twitter and Pinterest to keep in the know about what’s going on at MCPL.
Don’t forget to check out Marion Memories our new genealogical database of photos submitted by local residents. Go to our website and link to the genealogy page. You can also find out how you can submit your own photos to the database.