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By Joy Sharp, Mountains Branch librarian


Last month, the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners voted to approve Rutherford County Library’s new 5-Year Strategic Plan. Included in that plan is our mission statement: Empowering our community to Read, Connect, Explore and Share.

At Mountains Branch, we hope we have been working towards that mission steadily. But in the months and years ahead, our goal is to insure that all members of our community believe we are accomplishing these objectives.

In this month’s column, I would like to break down these goals and point out some of the things we’re doing to provide them to our patrons and neighbors.

READ: Summer Reading for kids got off to an explosive start during our first ever Rutherford County Library system Summer Reading Field Day kickoff. Well over 300 kids and their caregivers enjoyed an afternoon of fun at Crestview Park. It was very hot that day, but the kids loved getting “hosed down” by the firetrucks. Mountains Branch contribution was a photo booth like many of you may remember from visits to the beach or amusement parks. We took nearly 150 photos that afternoon!

This year we also enrolled several of our older patrons in the first ever Adult Summer Reading Program. We’re happy to announce our library users participated enthusiastically in all the activities to earn prizes each week, including a grand prize Amazon Kindle.

We continue our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program with many families logging many books on their virtual climb up Chimney Rock! It excites us to see parents checking out stacks and stacks of picture books to take home and share with their children.

And once again we are so grateful to our Lake Lure Lions for their donation of $500 to purchase Large Print and Audio books. The Lions are truly community partners who help us achieve our missions.

Connect: that word can mean a lot of things. When we think of connecting these days, we naturally think of technology. Mountains Library will begin offering basic computer, internet and social media classes in August. We’ll start out with a basic computer refresher course on August 17th from 12-1 pm. You can register by stopping by or calling Mountains Library. Look for other classes on the third Wednesday of each month.

Share: connecting can also mean something as simple and profound as sharing the connection of human experience. We hope that our programming offers plenty of opportunities for you to connect and share with your friends, neighbors, community and even yourself.

In September you’ll have the chance to connect with a great local author, share great food in a great location as our Friends of the Library bring Rose Senehi back to Books & Bites at the Lake Lure Inn. This is a special library fundraising event to launch Rose’s new book, CAROLINA BELLE. Half the twenty-five dollar cost of the lunch goes to the Friends. Please stop by the library to sign up, or give us a call. This event will be very popular, so don’t wait too long!

Finally, EXPLORE: our community partners at Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation have made it possible for us to create two new programs to help our patrons explore.

Our Explore Outdoor circulating backpacks have been a big hit. The first day we got them cataloged in our system, the first five were snatched up! They have all been returned – on time I might add – with journals full of notes and drawings of the discoveries kids and families made during their explorations. These backpacks were created to encourage that connection between spending time in nature and the benefits of mental and physical health, shared family time and family literacy.

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Kids can explore their imagination and creativity in our new Children’s Play Station. We have a puppet theater and lots of great puppets, Lego building sets, sorting and separating activities, tons of puzzles, and a basket full of Reading Buddies with which to curl up and share a story.
All of these new initiatives require the support of library staff, patrons, and the community at large. We hope when you see the good work being done every day at Mountains Library, you will consider becoming a Friend, too. Please stop by our Mountains Library Friends Facebook page @https://www.facebook.com/lakelurelibrary/?fref=ts.  Like us to keep informed about future plans and programs.

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Cutline: Three-year-old Kenzie Matthews. Explore Outdoors circulating backpack and contents.