Jan 26, 2012 Neil Benjamin Jr. Uncategorized
If all goes according to plan, the DeWitt Community Library will be getting a late birthday present in the form of a new location.
The library, which officially turns 50 years old on April 8, is in the midst of a year-long celebration for a place the community loves. Executive Director Wendy Scott, who’s held the position since May, 2009, said the library — a fixture at ShoppingTown Mall since its inception in 1962 — is hoping to move forward with plans to move into its own building.
“We’re here to best serve the community,” Scott said. “Our trustees are looking at all of our options and we should know a lot more in the coming months.”
Scott said the trustees set out a strategic planning initiative last year, and received 600 responses from members of the community. The result? Locals are very excited and ready for the library to come out of the mall and move to its own locale.
However, there is no other information at this time, as Scott said there is still a ton of work to be done before any announcement is made.
In the meantime, there is a lot going on during the birthday bash. On April 20, a silent auction will be held, with some of the proceeds going toward the new location. Local businesses are donating gift baskets on which to bid during the two-hour long event that begins at 7 p.m. Along with the auction, drinks and finger foods will be served.
“It’s a birthday party of sorts for us,” Scott said. “We are closing the library for this, and it’s invite-only. It will be a fun night for all while supporting the local community.”
Later in the fall, Scott said the library will be hosting a Fall Family Fest, but the date and location is currently unknown. In celebration of 50 years, Scott said, the theme for the fest will be 1962, meaning she’s hoping people will come dressed for that time period.
“This is just such an exciting year,” Scott added. “We’re looking for our new facility, and everyone’s working hard. This is a place the community needs.”
Kathleen Menton agrees. The DeWitt resident has been frequenting the library for a lot of her life, and says she can’t do without it.
“It’s become a part of my life,” Menton said while reading a newspaper. “I come here to read all the news I can read so I can keep up with what’s new and what’s going on. It’s an enjoyable part of my day.”
Libraries around the country are figuring out ways to keep pace with the digital world, and DeWitt Community Library is no different. With Nooks, Kindles and iPads, consumers don’t have a necessary need to go and buy or rent books anymore; they’re all at their fingertips. As a way to combat this, the library now has its own stash of eReaders that people can rent out for periods of time.
If that wasn’t enough, the library even offers classes in how to use your new gadget.
“We want people to be comfortable with their new technology,” Scott said. “They have to learn, so our staff stays up to date on that stuff so if people have questions or need assistance, they can get it. It’s challenging to stay cutting-edge right now, but we’re working on it.”
Among the loudest responses the library has received is from its resume and career helpers, who help people apply for jobs and try and get noticed. It also has a story time for kids on the weekends, all in the name of literacy.
Scott added that the library is planning on upgrading its computer system to meet new demands.
“The goal is literacy, plan and simple,” Scott concluded.
Neil Benjamin Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.
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