March 4, 2018
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved books. So naturally, I’ve always loved libraries. I clearly remember my first library visit in my hometown in Montana, a library that was created by area citizens who donated the books and was operated by volunteers. It was the tiniest library. And it smelled funny from all the musty, old books. But it was a magical place that let me take home a new book or two every week. It didn’t matter if I couldn’t read a word. Books were a precious commodity. And to me, holding a book was like holding the entire world in my hands.
We were a family blessed to move several times in the course of my childhood. And without fail, when we settled into a new home in a new community, the first thing my mom did was take us to the library. I loved visiting the library in Alexandria, Minn. It had two levels. The staircases were ornate and grand. My imagination would take flight each time we passed through the doorway. I was a princess, entering a castle, or a prisoner being cast into the dungeon (the children’s area was on the lower level). My book selections weren’t limited to Fairytales though…Amelia Bedelia and The Bernstein Bears were favorite selections I’d check out again and again.
The Buffalo library is where I got to have my very first library card. I loved sitting back in the youth section on a bean bag chair or the carpet, carefully choosing a new book, or frantically searching the shelves for the next book in the series I was reading (Babysitters Club or All-of-a-Kind Family). I was a voracious reader at this point. I never had to beg my mom to take us to the library though. It was a given to be there at least once a week. Often times more; had to read lots of books to get my Book-It pizza voucher at school, or to try to win a prize during the summer reading program.
As I said earlier, books were a precious commodity. Looking back, I’m so thankful that my parents found a way to get books in my hands. And that they read to me in those early years. I know that developing a love of reading in me as a young child lead to success in my academic life, and later, success in my profession as an elementary teacher. What a joy to pass that love of reading on to the next generation!
I now have children of my own. They too, love the library. We visit our community library here in Kimball at least once a week, often more. My kids feel at home in our library; it’s a place they feel safe and comfortable. The librarians know them by name. Besides choosing books (we homeschool, so we check out a LOT of books), they can check out books-on-tape, eBooks, CDs, DVDs, and magazines. Our family attends events and programs throughout the year, giving us access to fine arts right here in our hometown. We meet up with friends at our library. We plan trips just to use the computer. We can learn foreign languages and access webinars and databases. For our family, the library is not only an outlet, it’s an equalizer.
Joining the Kimball Area Friends of the Library was a natural step for me as an avid reader and library patron. I’ve made wonderful friends through this organization. It’s also given me opportunity as a parent to model for my children what it means to serve others, my children have seen first-hand how volunteers are the backbone of small, rural communities such as ours! Our organization is celebrating 20 years of service this year.
Our community library is now at a crossroads. By now you’ve probably heard about the Kimball Library Building Task Force. This group of area residents has been hard at work for months envisioning, planning, and actively working to prepare for a wonderful opportunity for our community library: a one-to-one matching grant through the State of Minnesota. This passionate group of citizens wants to see our area receive this grant money, rather than it going to some other community in some other region of our state. Community presentations have been taking place to inform the community regarding the process. Presentations will be made at area township meetings on the 13th of this month. You can also stop by the Kimball Business Expo on April 7, to learn more.
Will you join us in our efforts? Maybe you have a skill and can give to this worthy cause through an in-kind donation (which counts toward the matching grant). Perhaps you would like to donate funds as an honorarium or in memorial of someone dear to you. There will be opportunities for such support. Perhaps your organization would like to host a fundraiser for our community library. I encourage you to attend the many events that will be taking place throughout this year on behalf of fundraising for our library. One such event will be the Friends of the Library dunk tank at Kimball Days Saturday, Aug. 11. We have other events planned as well. Watch the Tri-County News for more updates from our organization and from the Kimball Library Building Task Force.
As a Friend of the Library, I would cordially invite you to attend “Dinner with an Author” Friday, April 20, at Milner’s Heritage Winery & Vineyard from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are now on sale at our library or the Harvest Bank of Kimball. You can get further details regarding this event on our Facebook page: Kimball Area Friends of the Library. You can also email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. And we always welcome new Friends to join us in support of our library. We meet on the second Monday of each month at
7 p.m. at City Hall.
Maine Prairie Township resident