The Virgil & Josephine Gordon Memorial Library has experienced a highly successful year as it continues to establish itself as a thriving community hub. With an increasing number of patrons signing up for library cards, the library has become a focal point for residents seeking knowledge and entertainment. Despite being a long-standing institution in the community, many visitors express surprise at discovering the library, saying, “I have lived here my whole life and I never knew there was a library.” This revelation has inspired the library to intensify its efforts in connecting with the community and raising awareness of its services.
One notable achievement is the library’s rekindled relationship with the Sealy ISO schools. By collaborating closely with the schools, the library has become a regular destination for school field trips. On average, two visits per month are now organized for the elementary schools, fostering an environment of learning and exploration. The schools are actively promoting the library’s upcoming summer program, ensuring that families are aware of the valuable opportunities it offers. This summer, the library eagerly anticipates hosting 2nd grade English as a Second Language (ESL) students in its Wednesday summer program, further expanding its reach and fostering a love for reading and learning among young learners.
The library has also actively supported the Eagle Scouts program, contributing to the community’s pride and spirit. Notably, one Eagle Scout project has been successfully completed, resulting in the addition of a new patio area with benches situated adjacent to the library building. This serene outdoor space allows readers to enjoy their books while surrounded by nature. Moreover, a second Eagle Scout project is currently underway near the children’s section, transforming the area into an enchanting fairy garden. With carefully chosen plants, vibrant flowers, and delightful miniature houses, this captivating space will soon be complemented by a pebble pond. The library has also received inquiries from two other Boy Scouts interested in undertaking projects on its premises, serving as a testament to the community’s commitment and enthusiasm.
In recognizing the unique needs of the elderly population, the library has taken proactive steps to provide support. Many individuals seeking social security benefits are often left perplexed by the online application process, lacking the necessary knowledge and technical skills. To address this, the library’s staff offers assistance by helping them set up accounts and guiding them through the application process. In collaboration with the Ministerial Alliance, the library is also working to help a homeless man secure his social security benefits. Once achieved, the library intends to aid him in finding suitable housing, providing an opportunity for stability and improvement of his circumstances.
The library’s efforts to increase community usage have yielded remarkable results. In January 2022, the library welcomed approximately 63 patrons throughout the month. However, in January 2023, that number surged to an impressive 872, signifying a significant increase in community engagement. These results validate the success of the library’s outreach initiatives and highlight the growing recognition of the library as an invaluable resource within the community.
The library’s popular summer program has experienced substantial growth as well. In 2022, an average of 100 participants attended each Wednesday session. This year, the library anticipates an even larger turnout, with plans to accommodate at least 150 children. To accommodate this expansion, the library has reorganized its layout, creating additional space to accommodate young readers. Furthermore, two external events have been scheduled to ensure that every child can participate and create lasting memories during their summer break.
Acknowledging the demand for intellectual stimulation and social interaction among adults, the library has recently launched a Chess Club for children aged 8 to 12. In response to its success, the library is now preparing to introduce an adult chess club and a dedicated game night for adults. These initiatives aim to provide engaging experiences for community members of all ages, fostering a sense of camaraderie and intellectual growth.
As the Virgil & Josephine Gordon Memorial Library continues to thrive and evolve, it remains committed to its mission of enriching the community through literacy, education, and community engagement. With its expanding programs, outreach efforts, and collaborative partnerships, the library stands as a testament to the enduring importance of libraries in our modern society.
***IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE*** that the Virgil & Josephine Gordon Memorial Library is a private institution, reliant on the continued financial support from the community to sustain its valuable programs and services. Without the generosity and commitment of community members, the library’s ability to offer these enriching experiences and make a positive impact on the lives of its patrons would be greatly hindered. It is through the ongoing support of the community that the library can continue to flourish and provide a haven of knowledge, learning, and community engagement for years to come.