This week is National Library Week. Our library is very fortunate. Thanks to a variety of community members, we are able to offer a myriad of materials and resources to our patrons. Just a sampling of recent community collaborations include:

Kimberly Florence and the parents of our Tuesday Tales tots worked to improve the Children’s Area of the library. The space was expanded and reworked to make it more family friendly. Some finishing touches occurred this week as colorful art prints were added to the walls brighten the area.

A true community effort is evident in our growing notebook of “Storm Stories.” In addition to the entries developed through writing workshops, forty ninth and eleventh graders are sharing their experiences thanks to the support of their teacher, Fred Flowers. We welcome additional stories; send us yours!

The local Master Gardeners and the Garden Club have installed and maintain the beds in front of the library. Recent visitors have been enjoying the St. Joseph lilies blooming.

Also thanks to volunteers, the library is able to offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The tutors meet with individuals and small groups on a regular basis to help the students. Two students have also been attending our Tuesday Tales with their children, helping the whole family work on literacy skills!

And speaking of literacy, did you know that a person can earn their high school diploma at the library? Available by scholarship, this program offers adults the opportunity to complete this level of their education.

In addition to books, we also promote music! Thanks to a grant from the Panama City Music Association and to the Ukulele Orchestra of St. Andrews, our library system loans out both ukuleles and lap dulcimers. Those with an interest in music can also take free music lessons by enrolling in Artist Works. Instruction is available for multiple instruments from piano to guitar!

An upcoming program on caring for those with Alzheimer’s was scheduled because of a patron request. Catherine Mackay spoke here a couple of years ago and one of the attendees feels the community would benefit from hearing her again. Caty has agreed to come again on Saturday, May 4 from 10:30 to noon.

Also, in April, the Friends of the Library will be visiting the local third graders to promote the library and to encourage students to get a library card. Any 3rd grader that visits the library and either presents their card or registers for one will earn a drawstring backpack. We hope to see lots of students coming in to visit!

We are here for you- please make use of our programs and resources. Let us know if you have ideas or suggestions for how we might better serve our community.