April 30, 2016

SLICE Article: - Magic Happens at the Library

As I write this, spring has transformed the landscape of the Palouse.  Trees that only days ago were completely bare are now magically a riot of pink blossoms. Garden beds all over town and campus are suddenly full of tulips. Bishop Boulevard has yielded the surprising appearance of hundreds of daffodils in their first year of bloom.  Thoughtful and creative planning, the investment of time by community members, and the right environmental conditions yield a landscape that gladdens us all.

Such attention to planning and providing the right environment transforms other parts of our shared public life as well.  The communities of the Palouse are so fortunate to have great public libraries, but the services of those libraries are greatly enhanced by the support of the Friends groups that augment their financial and volunteer resources.

This past year the Friends of Neill Public Library was able to provide over $53,000 and 900 volunteer hours to Neill Public Library to supplement city support.  Those funds largely come from memberships of community members, from gifts given in memory or honor of loved ones, and from the proceeds of the Friends book sale area.  Contributions of many varied amounts gathered together transform the reach of our library services, programming, and materials.

The Friends’ contribution to Neill Public Library makes possible outreach such as Summer Reading, newborn and kindergarten literacy packets, public printing, and a variety of special programs for all ages.  In addition, this year funding supported new programs providing youth Lego programs and kits for check-out and computer instructional classes for seniors. Pullman’s well used public library, like the others in our area, serves as a vibrant hub providing needed information, joyful pleasure, and a welcoming space for all.

On June 8 the Friends of Neill Public Library will join with the BellTower Event Venue to celebrate and support the many ways that the library transforms our community by hosting two events by acclaimed Seattle magician G. G. Green. At 4 pm Green will provide the kick-off for the Summer Reading Program with a free youth performance at Neill Public Library.

That evening, from 7 to 9 pm, Green will be the featured performer for an evening fundraiser event at the BellTower in support of literacy programming, material acquisition, and facility improvements.  The evening will also include hearty hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, silent auction, and raffle items.

Tickets for the evening fundraiser are $35 per person and are available for purchase through May 27 at EventBrite.com as well as at Neill Public Library and the BellTower Event Venue office.

I join with all of you in my gratitude for those whose vision and planning have graced our common physical landscape with the beauty we enjoy each spring.  I encourage you to join your local Friends of the Library group to support the cultural landscape that similarly makes the Palouse such a magical place to call home.

Karen Weathermon
President, Friends of Neill Public Library

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