Library Levy Passes
Thank you to all of the friends and other citizens who voted yes to keep our Libraries open in Tillamook County. Thanks to these efforts the vote was very positive, greater than 62% yes vote by Wednesday morning, May 17. The vote will be certified in the next week or two.
Our Friends supported the levy by making phone calls, posting Library Yes signs, writing letters to the editors and voting. Thank you for all of your efforts on behalf of our Libraries.
Book Sale Returns Memorial Day Weekend
An annual Memorial Day tradition plays out May 26 and 27 in Manzanita, as the North Tillamook Library hosts its book sale featuring thousands of donated books. It’s a sale that has become so big in recent years that it is held at two locations: The Hoffman Center for the Arts (549 Laneda Ave.) and Pine Grove Community House three blocks away (225 Laneda).
The sale begins Friday evening, May 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. in which members of the Friends of the Library get first crack at this year’s selection. If you are not a member, have no fears, you can join the evening of the presale – $10 for an individual membership and $15 for a family. On Saturday, May 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the general public is invited to comb the shelves and tables for good deals on “gently used” books.
The books at the Hoffman Center, across form the library, are non-fiction and include cookbooks, biographies, humor, nature, gardening, history, religion, self-help, reference, general interest and coffee table books. Just down the street one can find fiction books at the Pine Grove Community House – novels, mysteries, science fiction, poetry, romances and children’s books.
The book sale, held every year Memorial Day weekend, is the major fundraiser for the North Tillamook County Friends for maintenance of the North Tillamook Library in Manzanita. Over 100 volunteers from Wheeler, Nehalem and Manzanita volunteer to make the book sale a success.
April Financial Report
Income for the month, reported by NTLF treasurer Tony Johnson, was $1,825 thanks to a $1,250 donation from Living Room Realty. During the past twelve months, the company’s agents have contributed over $5,000 to the Library. We are honored that the North Tillamook Library has been the beneficiary of this program. The expenses, $1,143, tracked well to budget, leading to net income of $682.
The reserve funds, invested through Wells Fargo, continue to perform well. The reserves are critical to meeting our responsibility to ensure that our 30-year old library building and grounds are maintained in top notch condition.
Library Historian Reflects on 30 Great Years
Patty Went loves libraries, passionately loves them, as perhaps only a long-time teacher can.
“If you can’t read you can’t get along in life,” Patty says, and she and her husband Burt “have always been involved in libraries,” including in their native Ohio prior to moving permanently to Manzanita. Patty Went has meticulously recorded the history of the long process involved in the creation of the North Tillamook Library. She is the “historical memory” for the library that will celebrates its 30th anniversary in July with a variety of events.
Patty will have a key role in the festivities when she will present a talk on the library’s intriguing history, a story that confirms what is possible when a community pulls together to create a true community asset.
The 30th anniversary celebration will kick off at 11:00 am on July 8 with story time at the library followed by various music programs in the Hoffman Gardens. The history presentation is scheduled at 2:00 pm followed by a talk by acclaimed Oregon author Lauren Kessler who is a member of the Friends of the Library. Cake will be served to cap off the celebration.
Library History…a Story of Community Commitment
After exhaustive research three years ago, Patty Went pulled together the definitive history of the library. She combed old files, newspaper clips and conducted oral history interviews with, as she says, “everyone still alive” who had a role in the remarkable community effort that raised the money, bought the land and built the now nearly three decade old library building on Lanada Avenue in Manzanita.
The North Tillamook Library represents a unique public-private partnership that has served a “community of learners” since 1987. The Friends of the Library own and maintain the building and grounds, while the Tillamook County library provides staff and library materials and programs. That partnership has endured thanks to both the commitment of the county library and remarkable support from dedicated citizens and library supporters in the Nehalem, Wheeler and Manzanita areas. The library enjoys the support of more than 300 active members who provide financial support for the building and grounds and chip in to support various library efforts, including the annual used book sale.
Patty Went has observed this remarkable community commitment up close for more than twenty years. She remembers first visiting Manzanita years ago and driving down Lanada Avenue toward the beach and marveling at the library building and grounds. “We decided right there that any town that cares that much about a library is a town for us,” she says.
Prior to the construction of the current library building a small library existed in Pine Grove Community Center, but growth eventually outpaced that locations capacity to meet the demands of the little city. Community activists then stepped forward to create the plan and funding to build the current facility.
Within six months of becoming a part-time resident in the 1990s Patty was serving on the Friends of the Library board. She remembers a friend making “it quite clear she would have a job” as a community volunteer and eventually one of her jobs became documenting the library’s colorful history. Her research confirmed the existence of a deep community commitment to creating and sustaining the library. Establishing a first-rate library had became the mission of dozens of “community activists” in the 1980s, including volunteers like Ann Knipe and Mary Kay Eskridge who were among the early promoters of the concept. Volunteers Jim and Sandy Shields, for example, helped organize the effort to create the friend’s non-profit status and provided financial advice. Many others contributed money, time and passion.
The effort to create an initial $60,000 reserve fund netted a grand total of $102 from an early pancake breakfast fundraiser. Patty notes that it took both great vision and a lot of work to create the fund that continues to provide financial resources to maintain the library building and grounds in top-notch shape.
The North Tillamook Library’s “unofficial historian” is looking forward to the July celebration of 30 years that will also be a community celebration of, as Patty says, “a wonderful building in a wonderful location that remains a wonderful community resource.”
We will feature more news on the 30th anniversary celebration in future editions of the Friend’s blog. You can read Patty Went’s full history of the library here.
Check out more upcoming events at the Library’s calendar.