By Joy Sharp Maxwell

Mountains Branch Librarian

Mountains Branch Library was honored to be selected this year as a recipient of a donation from the Lake Lure Olympiad Committee. The Olympiad and the Library share a common goal – promoting health and wellness in adults and children in our community.

In September, Mountains Branch offered two programs designed to encourage both physical and mental health. Mary Reitano, a certified mental health counselor and Breeze contributor, partnered with the library to provide a series of discussions challenging negative assumptions about aging. “Coffee & Conversation” took place at the Carolina Moon Coffee Café, and was lively and interactive. “Restoring the Vitality of Youth” was the topic, but most of the attendees seemed to already have figured that one out! Check the library website at for upcoming Coffee & Conversation sessions.


We also partnered with environmental educators, Life Roots, to offer programming during Take a Child Outdoors Week, observed annually September 23-30. Utilizing the Explore Outdoors! Backpacks we put together with a grant from the Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation, John Cullen first led families on a hike through Cedar Creek Stables. Cedar Creek was kind enough to allow us use of their trails and streams to allow kids the wonder of discovering autumn.

After the hike, families returned to the library to record their observations in our Nature Journals, and enjoy healthy fall snacks of apples, pumpkin cornbread and cold cider.

On October 8th, The Friends of the Mountains Branch Library Board and staff honored our more than 25 volunteers with a Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at the home of Patti and Jim Stewart. We enjoyed a delicious fried chicken and salads lunch provided by the board members, and distributed gifts to our wonderful volunteers. But the greatest gift of all comes from the volunteers and Library Friends themselves, who generously donate their time, love and energy to help make our little Mountains Branch a warm, welcoming, community-hub.

The Friends of the Library are having a Quilt Raffle! This hand-made, king-size Amish quilt was generously donated by one of our patrons. Raffle tickets may be purchase for $5.00 or five tickets for $20.00. Tickets may be purchased at the library. Drawing will be held Tuesday, November 14th at 2:00 p.m. during the Friends’ Annual Meeting. You need not be present to win. All proceeds benefit the library.

On Tuesday, November 14th, 2:00 p.m., The Friends of the Library will hold their Annual Meeting & Election of Officers and board members. Friends’ members and the public are encouraged to attend. Please consider becoming a volunteer or Friend of the Library or both! There are dozens of ways you can help, from volunteering at the library, to helping with programs, fundraising, book sales, membership drives, publicity or many other opportunities to contribute. As this column illustrates, we are a “community” library and depend on community support to offer all the resources your library provides.