is National Library month
April is a big month for Prairie Community Library. It is not only the 28th anniversary of the library's existence, but it is also National Library Month. National Library Week is April 14th to the 20th. The board and staff are planning an Open House on April 20th to honor all past librarians and volunteers who have helped at the library. There are over 30 people who have donated their time and talents to make the library a success. We appreciate all they have done. Refreshments will be served from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the library. All former volunteers are invited to the Open House. We are grateful to each and every one of you. Please stop by and tell us what part you played in making the library what it is today.
Special recognition will be given to Marianne Wren the first to volunteer as Prairie Community Librarian. Marianne committed eleven years to serving the library patrons and community. In 1996 Nona Hood took over for many years and she was followed by Jennifer Cochran who was librarian for several years. Current librarians are Laurine Nightingale, Mardel Sonnen and Donna Wassmuth.
Marianne's love for books made it the the perfect job for her. She was very dedicated. She and Nona worked very well together. Marianne remembers that it took her about 1 hour and 45 minutes to enter one book when writing out the cards by hand.
The Wren family has put up a display on the wall in the library. The display will feature major events in the history of the library. The library started in what is now Terry Cochran's office in the basement of the Community Hall. Special recognition also goes to Emmett and Cindy Wilson as they had a big part in getting the library started. Emmett was the first president and he and Cindy did the recycling in Cottonwood as a fund raiser for the library for many years by themselves, and later with help from others. One or the other of them held the treasurer's job and other offices for lots of years. Emmett remembers that it took forever to get our non profit tax number.
Fund raisers that we did over the years included sponsoring the Missoula Children's Theatre and The Chocolate Fantasy, where we sold fancy homemade chocolates for Valentine's Day. The board gathered recipes and compiled a cookbook, which was a good fund raiser. We sold calendars where you could win money weekly for a few years. Currently we do the Bräts and Brew Fest, which has been held in the fall for the last 4 years.
Summer Reading has been held at the library during the summer and continues at the present time. In the early years there was a Children's Story Hour, which the kids loved. We would like to get that started again. At first there were only books in the library. Videos were added later.
The first move for the library was to the north end of the basement. On the day of the move, Bertha Kop noticed the basement was flooded. Phone calls were made and the NICI crew was asked to help clean up the mess. Bertha returned later with food for the entire group. The library could be entered from the front or the back of the building. About 4 years ago the hall was remodeled and the library was given part of the council quarters which added another room. An elevator on the front of the building gives access to the basement.
Because of the generous support from the people and the business community, the library has been able grow and become an important asset to this area.
The library is also doing a promotion to get new members during the month of April. Any paid up member who recruits a new member, (anyone who has not been a member in the last 3 years) will receive half price for dues for one year. Any new member will also get half price dues.