Bertha Bartlett Public Library news

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

—by Kolleen Taylor

I just returned from vacation spent with family in New York City. As much as I enjoyed the trip, the realities of the complications of life, no matter where you are, caught up to me, starting with the frustrations of flying through the O’Hare airport. There is always a price to pay when one takes time off and actually goes anywhere. I laughed when I got an e-mail promoting a vacation to recover from my vacation.

I’ve always been the type to take books on a vacation, but my family protested when they saw my stack of books, and told me that I couldn’t go to New York and spend all my time reading. And when I expressed an interest in seeing the New York Public Library, they were horrified, as that seemed like something I shouldn’t do as a tourist. I will have to have a return trip to visit the landmark that has been featured in movies, in books and in my dreams.

I didn’t want to be just a tourist. I wanted to visit with my family and meet their friends, and attend the events and places they wanted me to see. Instead I walked through Central Park several times, viewing the activities of the children playing in the streets. I got onto the subways, and young men gave up their seats for my sister and I. What I discovered is that people are people, whether here or in New York, and I found many helpful, caring, concerned people who were gracious and kind to us.

So back home in Iowa, we settle back into real life. The library is in transformation, just as the world around us is changing into the beautiful fall foliage that I love so dearly. As I started playing catchup, the library seems warm and full of energy. The programming planned for the library has been embraced so well by our community, and we are excited for more adult topics as well as children’s programs in the weeks ahead.

The programming last week seemed to be a huge hit with all the age groups, with great turn-outs for the KOOL kids (K-4th) on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m., and the Early dismissal programs on Wednesday. Those who have children in school know that when the schools dismiss early, it is challenging to find things for children to do while parents are still working. Our programs on these days start with K-4th graders (KOOL), a Tween program (10-12 years of age) and a Teen program. Those who are in the library on those days know that we use the entire building, staggering programs so our staff can find adequate space for everyone. Denise Froehlich handles the Teen program, while Shelly Gruwell works with the Tweens, and Julia Humphrey has the KOOL kids program.

So as you are planning your schedule for the weeks ahead, remember the library tries to help out with finding fun and fulfilling programs appropriate to all the age groups. It’s a safe place, a haven for all ages, and a place that belongs to everyone in the community.