The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

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By Scott Swanson
Of The New Era 

Library Open House to commemorate 75th year of operation

 

September 12, 2017



Sweet Home Library will celebrate its 75th year of existence with an Open House Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 1101 13th Ave.

The public is encouraged to drop by “as they are available” between 3 and 6 p.m. for the event, Librarian Rose Peda said.

The event will include a visit by State Librarian ​MaryKay Dahlgreen, photo albums showing the library in past years, and opportunities for local residents to contribute ideas on what they would like to see in the library, “how they can improve their library and library service,” Peda said. “We want to hear from them what they want to see in their library.”

She said she expects City Council members and other officials to visit as well.

The original plans for the current library building, which opened Sept. 14, 1969, will be available for viewing as well.

The library’s original opening was Saturday, Sept. 19, 1942, in the rear of City Hall with “an open house and silver tea,” according to the Sept. 17, 1941 edition of The New Era, which reported the event. “If you can bring a book or books, so much the better. There is still lots of shelf room.”

“A lot has changed at the library,” Peda said.

Most recently, the library has joined the Linn Library Consortium and beefed up its activities programming, she said.

Since joining the consortium two years ago, she said, the library has saved $24,649 in materials borrowed by Sweet Home patrons from other member libraries.

“That’s how much it would have cost us if we’d purchased those materials,” Peda said. “People have not stopped reading.”

She said that though the number of patrons has remained “steady” in recent years, the number of items being borrowed by Sweet Home residents since the consortium started has grown slowly but steadily.

“Being part of this consortium has really benefited the community as a whole,” Peda said.

The total amount of resources available to borrow among all the consortium partners would cost Sweet Home more than $3 million, she said.

Particularly popular in the library are DVDs, which people borrow because they can’t afford Netflix or Redbox, she said.

“The way I look at it, the library card, it’s the smartest card you have in your wallet, because all this material is here waiting for you,” Peda said. “All you have to do is stop in and borrow it. Why pay for it when you can stop in at the library and get it for free? Why purchase it at Amazon when you can stop in at the library and borrow it off the shelf?”

The library also will offer more programming this fall, most of it focused on specific age groups, she said.

Open-mic stories and poetry events are back and will be announced as they near.

“Those have been popular,” Peda said. “We want to continue with that.”

She also hopes to bring back ukulele events, possibly even developing a program to lend out the instruments so patrons can learn at home and possibly purchase their own.

The trainers in the sessions held last year are from back east, so the question will be whether they will be available, she said.

“Everybody had such a wonderful time with that program. I would like to get them back.”

She also has programs in the works for children and teens that will deal with how machines work and their history, from Leonardo da Vinci to the present.

Those programs will be STEM-oriented (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), she said.

Open Play Lego sessions will be held on Saturdays.

Portland storyteller Ann Rutherford is scheduled to appear at 4 p.m. on Oct. 26 to deliver spooky tales from around the world, in conjunction with the Albany library.

Such performances are another advantage of participating in the Linn Library Consortium, Peda said.

“In the consortium, we’re able to partner with other libraries and bring in performers at a reduced cost.”

 
 

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