After a relaxing night at The Balcony House in Imperial, I had a short commute to Grant, only 28 miles. If I had left from Hastings, it would have been 221 miles.
I arrived at the Hastings Memorial Library in Grant at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time. Library Director, Robin Quinn, was there, but a little queasy. The new carpet tiles in the Community Room were being installed. The strong smell of carpet glue was pervasive. The new carpeting looked great, and using the tiles is a terrific idea. Then, when (not if), something gets spilled, the affected square can be lifted and replaced.
I asked how the summer had gone and Robin explained that the first event of the Summer Reading Program brought more than 80 children to the Library—46 of them were preschoolers. In addition to spectacular attendance for children’s programming, Hastings Memorial Library had a significant number of adults participate in the Adult Summer Reading Program. For each book read and rated, adult readers received an entry for the prize drawing. The winner was awarded her choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Card or $50 in Chamber Bucks. Second place was a $25 gift. Robin collected all the ratings and reviews turned in, and is using them for book displays of popular fiction. Great Summer Reading attendance translates into amazing circulation numbers. The circulation in June was the highest ever in the history of the library—1,756 books were checked out.
The Arts Council is active in Grant. The Library has a 3-D display of a little girl reading in a wagon-full of books. It was designed and constructed by a number of students in an Arts Council program. Another project is represented by framed collages of ceramic tiles. The tiles were painted during last year’s Summer Reading Party. They are beautiful wall hangings for the hallway between the Library and the Community Room.
The Library was busy the whole time I was there. People stopped in to borrow books for themselves and elderly neighbors, to make copies, to use the computers, to spend time before picking up children from preschool, and to leave donations…lots and lots of donations. The Hastings Memorial Library in Grant really is a community center.
It was time for lunch, so I stopped at the Subway sandwich shop and picked up my favorite sandwich to eat on the road. I treated myself to a White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookie, too (another of my favorites). I headed east on Highway 23, lost an hour by crossing into the Central Time Zone, and made it to Wallace by 1:30 p.m. On the way, I noticed a substantial number of corn fields that had sustained hail damage. It was ugly.
When I went in the Faith Memorial Library, I saw Library Director, Debbie Andrews, catching up on email in her office. We sat down to talk about recent library activities. The Library hosts regular adult programming. The most recent presentation was about gardening. A community member instructed attendees how to pot plants in addition to planting outdoors. The next program will be about making birdhouses out of gourds. Recently they had a jewelry-making demonstration which drew nearly a dozen people of all ages. Debbie prepares an introduction for each program. I loved her jokes about jewelry. Here is my favorite: Question—What is the difference between earrings and a nose ring? Answer—S’not much!
Preschool storytime is held on Wednesday mornings from 10-11 a.m. They hear a story, make a craft, and share a snack. The town’s Fall Festival is held in September. The Library participates in the festivities by holding a Book Sale.
We were talking about the recent hail storm and Debbie showed me where some of the windows were broken. A Library Board member came to the library shortly after the storm and taped up the cracks. While we were visiting, a community member came in to ask Debbie if she could volunteer to help at the Library. Community support is a wonderful thing.
I had planned to go back to Hayes Center and visit the Hayes County Law Library. When I got to the corner where I needed to turn, I decided to call. It is a good thing I did. No one was there and I got the answering machine. I will just have to visit there another day. I went up to Sutherland and got on I-80. It was after 4:00 p.m. and I had 172 miles and about 3 hours to drive…at least the sun was behind me.