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By Jillian Rael, Library Director
February 19 was Library Legislative Day in Tennessee, and the FLCPL was well represented for the first time in several years. Library board members, Margaret Nell Fowler and Vincent Kearns, myself as director, and Jan Frazier of the Friends of the Library motored to Nashville to ensure that Lincoln County was part of the action.
We met with Rep. Pat Marsh, who expressed a sincere concern for the state of public library funding. Many may not know that Tennessee is last among the 50 states in public library funding per capita, and with the current threat of sequestration, I am concerned with the seemingly dismal future of such funding. Nonetheless, this was an opportunity to express our thanks for the state funding we do receive and to let our representatives know what we are up to here at our library. If you would like to voice your opinion on library funding, the library staff can help you acquire contact information for our state representatives.
There are some new happenings here at the library that I am so proud of which to speak. First, we have a new volunteer reader, Mary Fox, who will be reading to The Learning Center Daycare and Preschool on Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 20. We need more volunteer readers to read on behalf of the library at other places around town. Please contact me if you are interested.
Schools will soon receive information regarding an essay contest the library is hosting. There will be three age groups, and the topic will be “My Public Library Is Important to Me Because …” I want area youth to tell me why they believe Lincoln County needs a public library. Moreover, this exercise will enlighten me as to what area kids wish to see in their library. I also hope to open up a dialogue between the library and local teachers so that I can find ways to better serve the community.
Winners of the essay contest will receive an e-reader, and library staff will aid in loading the READS program, and runners-up will receive a gift certificate to The Book Inn. We are truly excited to see what the kids come up with.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, and the library will be celebrating with events hosted in conjunction with the Carriage House Players’ opening of their play in April. We are still working out the details, but we hope to have some events for kids that include some of the cast of characters in costume. As a serious P&P fan, I cannot express my excitement over these upcoming events, and we hope to see you at the library!