Library Expansion Under Way In Pine


The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library expansion is a great benefit to all of our community, including local construction workers!

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library expansion is a great benefit to all of our community, including local construction workers!

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While it’s true that construction has ceased almost entirely in our community, the many users of the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library are excited to see that the 444-square-foot expansion to the building has begun! This is an absolutely amazing feat considering the lack of state funding which was anticipated from a matching building grant.

While Library Director Becky Waer gives unceasing credit to the many volunteers who support the library in numerous ways, I’ve been here long enough to see that most of the improvements are due to her optimism, vision and practical leadership skills.

For instance, most people assume that the library is a county funded entity (don’t our library cards imply that?). However, the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library does not fall under the county jurisdiction. Each year the Library District and the Library Board of Trustees sign an agreement which includes a grant from the county for funding basic operating costs paid for by a portion of our property taxes. Since that grant only covers the basics, Becky depends heavily on fund-raisers and donations to offer continuous, ever expanding programs to the community.

We are constant visitors to the library and can attest that they serve a vast range of users young and old, while hosting a wide variety of programs designated to meet the needs of the residents here.

That’s why we are so excited to see the expansion take place — with funds provided to a very large extent by our small community. It just goes to show what you can do with strong leadership, clear direction, frugality, and an enthusiastic group of supporters.

Current construction will add 444 square feet of usable space which will be used to house the entire children’s section of the library. This will free up a significant amount of space in the existing building to rearrange the young adult section while expanding the inventory.

In addition to the area being added, the workers will upgrade the existing electrical system from the current 100 amp service to a more practical 400 amp capacity if needed. This is an important step, since the library incurs frequent electrical issues due to the inadequate amperage. With libraries becoming more and more electronically driven, this is a vital upgrade.

While talking with Becky, it is easy to catch the fervor and excitement of the expansion as well as see her dedication to making this library one that every member of our community can be proud of. She expressed her gratitude to all of those who have contributed volunteer hours, through support of various fund-raisers, and from many generous contributions. It is so nice to be able to report some positive news in this time of uncertainty.

Children who attend the pre-school story time at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library on Wednesday, Jan. 13 are in for a very special treat. A member of the Pine/Strawberry Fire Department will be on hand to discuss safety rules. The program takes place between 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. and all children between the ages of 2-1/2 and 6 years old are welcome to attend.

Also taking place at the library on Jan. 13 is a showing of the movie “Night at the Museum, Battle of the Smithsonian.” The movie begins at 1 p.m. and is rated PG. Since the 13th is an early release day for the students at the P/S Elementary School this would be a perfect time to hang out with friends in a fun, safe environment.

Now is the time to join or renew your membership to SCAF (Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation) for the year 2010. Anyone who is 50 years of age or older is eligible to join for the reasonable fee of $5 annually. SCAF runs the Pine/Strawberry Thrift Shop, the Senior Dining Hall, and the Meals on Wheels program in our community. They also support the Pine/Strawberry school and many other local events in our community as needed.

The Senior Dining Room is open Monday through Friday and members receive a $1 discount off of every meal. A full meal for members cost only $4 and includes salad bar, entrée, dessert, and a beverage; or $2.50 for salad bar and beverage alone. For those who are interested in signing up for meal at the dining hall or the Meals on Wheels program, please call 476-2151.

If you would like to learn more about SCAF, you are invited to attend the next board meeting at 11 a.m., Monday, Jan. 14 in the dining hall, which is located directly behind the P/S Thrift Shop in the fenced area.

The next Fiddlers Jam takes place in the Cultural Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 1 p.m. The event is free and all are welcome to come enjoy this fun and lively event.

The transition between Brooke Utilities and the PSWID seems to be taking place fairly smoothly which is a huge relief to the community. If you would like to know more about the current status of the water situation in Pine and Strawberry you are encouraged to attend the next PSWID board meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 21 at the Cultural Hall.

And that wraps up another week in Pine and Strawberry!

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