Our anniversary celebration would not have been possible without the generosity and support of so many of our friends. Thank you for all you do for the Azle Memorial Library and the community. We couldn’t do our jobs without you!
To all of you who came to our 5th year anniversary celebration on Saturday, thank you so much! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Here’s to another fabulous five years!
You are cordially invited to attend our 5 year anniversary celebration on Saturday, March 29th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We’ll have a variety of musicians and artists perform in our Community Room throughout the day. From 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., we’re hosting a special passport adventure for kids 3-12 so they can explore the library and meet their librarians. For those of you who attend, we’ll have a special surprise for you in the library foyer. You don’t want to miss out on this special celebration! Help us honor our rich history and look forward to wonderful, exciting days ahead.
Posted by Library Director, Curren McLane:
With five years of memories to choose from, it’s almost impossible to narrow them down to just a few. But I’ve been giving this some thought and here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):
1. Several years ago a young mother and her 1st grade daughter approached me while I was working. The expression on the mother’s face told me she was in dire need of help before she even had a chance to ask. It turned out that she was responsible for making a costume for her daughter’s school play. All the kids in the play had to dress up as animals, and her daughter had chosen to be a praying mantis! The mother couldn’t even remember what a praying mantis looked like, much less think of how to make a costume of one. So together we found a stack of books that contained praying mantis costumes and talked about ideas and, feeling a little better, they went home to get started. Several weeks later I ran into the mother during one of her visits to the library and she had a picture of her daughter in costume. The daughter looked amazing! I could tell exactly what she was supposed to be and she was beaming in the photo. The mother was so appreciative of my help. I was just doing my job, but seeing that adorable girl so proud of her homemade costume made me so proud. To this day that memory brings a smile to my face.
2. In 2011 the Library hosted an adult literacy/ESL (English as a second language) class, taught by volunteers. One of the Spanish speaking students asked for extra help, and a very generous volunteer offered to meet with her once a week at the library for one-on-one tutoring. The class ended after a few months, but the volunteer and student continued to meet diligently every week at the library for two hours. Every so often I would see the student in the library and chat with her and I would always remark how much her English was improving. Fast forward to this month when I ran into the student and teacher during one of their tutoring sessions. The student was so proud to tell me that she recently passed her citizenship test and was now an American citizen! She said that it would not have been possible without the help of her dedicated tutor, and the use of the library. It was so gratifying to know that the library could serve as a place for such an important endeavor, and I was so proud of all that she had accomplished.
3. Until 2012 the Azle Library had only held summer reading for children. I had been wanting to start an adult summer reading program for adults, so when our Adult Services Librarian, Meg, approached me with plans to start the program, I was all for it. It was great seeing how excited adults were about summer reading – some of them were just as excited as the kids! The summer ended with a finale party for the adult participants. It was so cool to see the adults win prizes and talk about the books they had read. And why shouldn’t they? Reading is for everyone! This summer will be our third annual summer reading program for adults; fourth annual summer reading program for teens; and about the millionth summer reading program for children (I’ve lost count at this point, but they’re always fun!).
4. This next one isn’t so much one memory, but a culmination of memories. I spend a lot of time in my office while I am at work. Numerous times each a day a staff member will call my office phone and say that a patron would like to speak to me. Sometimes patrons want to speak to me about a fine they want to dispute, or they just have a question, but occasionally it’s because they have a story to tell me about a library memory. I absolutely love hearing these stories! I’ve heard stories from long time residents who remember the library back when it was located in previous buildings. I’ve heard memories about the cat that used to live in the library when we were located by city hall. Just today a woman, who recently moved here from east Texas, said she had never heard anything about Azle before she moved except that we had an amazing library! If news about our library has spread across the entire state of Texas we must have something pretty special here! I can’t wait to hear more stories in the future.
5. One of the neat things about working in a library is you get to recognize and know the “regular” patrons who come visit the library every week (or sometimes more often). It is wonderful to see children grow as they visit the library year after year. I’ve had the opportunity to watch kids go from reading picture books, to bigger chapter books. I’ve seen high school kids who used to do homework in the library go off to college to start their own adult lives. I’ve even had the chance to see babies go from entering the library in a stroller, to being able to walk and pick out their own books. Someday I hope these children will look back and have fond memories of their library visits. They may not remember me specifically, but I will certainly remember them!
Posted by Children’s Librarian, Nancy Novak:
Those of us who work in public libraries are surrounded by words. We bask in their glow. They delight us at every turn. But imagine if you could actually see words swirling around people, near objects, in the air, everywhere. Then imagine that you could capture them and keep them close.
Such is Felicity’s gift in Natalie Lloyd’s debut novel for tweens, A Snicker of Magic. It follows Felicity as she tries to come to terms with loneliness, her father’s absence from her life, her mother’s wanderlust. She and her mother end up in her mother’s home town of Midnight Gulch, which was at one time a very magical place, but is now only a little bit magical. There are secrets here, hidden among the words Felicity sees swirling above the heads of the town folk and the buildings. She puts them down in a special book, creates poems with them. Ice cream flavors hold other secrets, both good and bad. Felicity makes it her mission to unlock those secrets and release the goodness within.
When I read a book, I often feel that I am discovering a secret through the words, that the particular order and number of words within a particular book is a key to understanding some truth. I don’t know how writers can work that kind of magic as well as they do, but I am certainly so appreciative of it. There are many books that have helped me grow in my life, many that have revealed something to me to make history or my personal experience so much richer.
Public libraries, by their commitment to full and equal access for all, possess much in the way of magic. Not just a snicker, which is Lloyd’s term for “a little bit.” No, public libraries offer a Grand Canyon-size amount of magic, in the words that reside on the shelves.
Taste the magic at Azle Memorial Library. Check out a book and engulf yourself with words.
Posted by Staffmember Becky Propp:
I have been a bookworm my entire life, so it’s only natural that I now work in a library. I have lived in Azle my entire life, except for college, and the Azle Library has a special place in my heart. I grew up going to the small library off of 199, and that’s where my love of libraries began. I remember being there constantly during the summers for the Summer Reading Program. I also remember scouring the entire library with my brothers trying to find the beloved Molly, the library cat. It just thrilled my young heart to know that a cat lived there and could pop up at any time while you were looking for books. I loved that all the librarians knew us and were excited to see us every time we came in.
Now many years later, I find myself working part-time at the Azle Library. I am also currently working on my master’s degree in library science and can’t imagine a better place to learn and work. The librarians are so talented and hardworking. They are also a bundle of fun, and want to provide a positive environment for the community. I love how prominent the library is in Azle, and that people are realizing it is so much more than just books. It is a place for community, learning, and fun. I love working here for so many reasons: the wonderful people I get to meet, helping kids find books that captivate their imaginations, amazing coworkers, fun community events, and an endless supply of reading materials. The Azle Memorial Library is a very special place and I am so glad that I can be a part of it!
Posted by Gina Baxter:
Sitting in a rocker on the “back porch” of the Azle Memorial Library reminds me of sitting in a rustic lodge in Canada or in a National Park lodge. Of course, the view from the porch doesn’t include the Olympic Mountain range, or Old Faithful, but the porch does overlook a lovely, lively green park, inhabited by moms, dads, lively children, interesting dogs, aspiring athletes, and all manner of interesting folks.
So, grab your book, select one of the rockers, relax, read, and watch the world go by.
It will be peaceful and quiet on the “back porch” – and one thing you will never hear at the Azle Memorial Library is a librarian with finger to her lips saying, “Hush.”
For five years, this Library has been establishing itself as the intellectual, cultural, and social center of our community. “Azleans” old and young are served by the library staff. There is literally something here for everyone!