By Joy Sharp Maxwell,

Mountains Branch Librarian

It looks like spring, hopefully it FEELS like spring by now. But at Mountains Branch Library, it really feels like Christmas!

By the time you get your May/June Breeze, we hope that our new digital sign will be standing proudly in front of Mountains Branch Library. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity and support of the Friends of the Mountains Branch Library, the Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation and other benefactors (like our Friend and library volunteer, Judy Arnold, who wrote the Friends a check for $2000!), we were able to replace the old wooden sign – which was beginning to fall apart – with a programmable electronic LED sign.

Patti Stewart (L) receiving a personal check from Judy Arnold to help fund the new library sign.

“This sign will be such a wonderful addition to our library, “says Friends President, Patti Stewart. “The Friends of the Library’s mission is to support the Library above and beyond what the County can provide.  The Board is excited to be able to provide this sign to our library and community.  We will be able to promote library activities along with community events.”

Money raised through the Friends’ Books & Bites author events and other fundraisers will be used to cover the cost of the sign. If you are interested in making a donation, a special box has been set up inside the library, or you can make checks payable to Friends of the Mountains Branch Library and mail to 150 Bill’s Creek Road, Lake Lure, NC 28764.

And speaking of fundraisers, mark your calendars for Friday, June 15th at 6:00 pm as the Friends of the Library host an exciting kick-off reception for our ‘The Soul of Lake Lure’ fundraising raffle.  Local Artist and sculptor, Diane Breaker, will unveil a brand new “Soul” sculpture, created especially for this event. The new sculpture will be raffled off and presented to one lucky winner on July 15th, a month following the ‘kick off’ reception.

This gala “meet and greet” gathering will feature music, food, and an unveiling of Diane’s new work. Guests will have an opportunity to learn more about Breaker’s techniques and insights as she discusses her art and poetry.

Alice Garrard, Danny Holland, Dick Wall, JoAnne Ellingson

Breaker, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, fondly recalls the library she grew up with.  “It was a place of great excitement and discovery,” she says, “where we all gathered, created, learned, and shared.  It truly was the soul of our community. Therefore I am delighted to donate, and to participate, in this fundraising effort,” Breaker says. In that spirit of community, this special event is free and everyone is welcome.

For the month of May the library features programs that positively shout “Spring is here and Summer’s on the way!”

Coming up quick, on Thursday, May3rd, 11:00 a.m., our Friends of the Library host another best-selling author for Books & Bites at the Lake Lure Inn. This month’s featured title is “The Cigar Factory: A Novel of Charleston” by Michele Moore.

Moore’s extensive historical research for The Cigar Factory included interviews with her own family members who worked at the cigar factory. The late Pat Conroy, who penned the forward to Moore’s book, called “The Cigar Factory”, “a large-hearted novel with a cast of characters wholly original in the vast, tempestuous literature of Charleston.”

Tickets to Books & Bites are $25 and include a 3-course lunch buffet, book discussion with the author, and book signing. Tickets should be purchased in advance at the library. Checks made payable to “Friends of the Mountains Branch Library” can be mailed to the library at 150 Bill’s Creek Rd., Lake Lure, NC 28746.

All proceeds go to support and fund the Mountains Branch Library.

On Saturday, May 12th, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. we will treat moms, grandmas, aunties and all other “Moms” with a Mothers’ Day Tea. Sip iced tea and nibble on cookies and sandwiches while enjoying stories. Make a fun craft, too!

Coffee & Conversation also returns to Mountains Library this month with a topic we ALL deal with from time to time, “Keys to Better Sleep”. Wednesday, May 16th, 3:00 p.m. Licensed counselor, Mary Reitano will offer tips and insights into achieving that restful, rejuvenating sleep for which we all long. Light refreshments served.

Our Healthy Eating in the New Year classes have been a big hit and we’re having so much fun with them. We’re going to try some recipes to help you lighten up your Memorial Day Picnic. Join us on Thursday, May 31rst from 5-6 p.m.

Finally, get outside! We are so fortunate to live in this veritable paradise, so please take advantage of all this area has to offer. Remember, our library offers well-stocked backpacks available for check out to help you and your family explore outdoors!