Warm or cold, wet or dry, weather doesn’t change the basic function of our library. When school starts this week, our daily activities shift slightly as we readjust to our lives after the summer reading program ends. We are on a brief break from programming as we get prepared for the school year programs, and we hope everyone had a chance to enjoy some of their summer vacation.

During the next few weeks we will be evaluating how well this years’ summer reading program was received, through participation, completion and parental input. It was slightly different this year, and we won’t know until it is over. Teachers may see a difference in how well prepared their students are to initiate their brains, parents may see more excitement. That input always helps us in knowing how effective our programs are in engaging our young minds at the library.

As a library which has always encouraged our young people to read non-fiction books as part of the summer reading, we were tickled when a news story came out last week in support of this! I enjoy reading fiction, but also read non-fiction. I love a captivating story line, and enjoy letting my brain relax, but I also enjoy learning about the world around me. So as I try to keep my personal reading balanced, it feels right to expose our youth to writers who can truly engage a reader with interests in real things… from mathematics to science, animals to history. We work hard to keep our library balanced with a variety of choices and to keep a good assortment of new books, in addition to those loved selections that might be a bit dated, but still relevant today.

With the majority of the reading logs turned in last week, we started putting our library back in order. You can’t see all the impact of moving quickly during the painting project in May, but our back storage rooms took a major beating when we had to find a space for many, many items that were in the way of the painters. So last Friday, we started the effort to work through those backrooms, straightening, defining, and relocating items that we need occasionally, items we need regularly, and items we never need. It’s almost like spring cleaning, but obviously we are closer to the fall season…, but it is never too late to organize!

We want to remind our book club readers that the book discussion that will be held on Tuesday, August 27, is about a non-fiction book. "The Worst Hard Times", written by Timothy Egan, tells the story of those who survived the Dust Bowl, an environmental disaster that occurred in the midst of the depression of the 1930’s. It directly impacted areas in Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas. It’s a cautionary tale that impacted far beyond their borders, as I recall my father talking about the dust storms of the 30’s, and concern that rose every time we had long periods without rain. During that period entire communities were buried in the sand storms, life squelched from all the living plants in the region, and those trying to live there faced total ruin. It’s a heart-breaking tale of hard work, dashed dreams, and disaster. But it is a story that merits remembering, understanding and re-telling to caution our younger generations about the spoils of overworking the ground, and understanding the lands around them.

Our book discussions are always open to anyone who wants to join us, and we meet monthly on the 4th Tuesdays of each month at 2 p.m., with a varied reading list.