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Library program brings in sizable crowds each week

VALLEY — Bradshaw-Chambers County Library’s Lunch N Learn series continues to generate sizable crowds to hear gifted speakers discuss a wide variety of topics. The latest program took place on Friday with Dr. David Burel talking about America’s obsession with recreational vehicles. There will be another one on Monday when 2017-18 Senior Ms. Georgia Sandra Komiskey will talk about her reign.

“We like to find speakers who we think are interesting,” says Adult Programs Coordinator Connie Beilfuss, “We arrange a date and promote it. We usually get very good turnouts, somewhere between 50 and 80 people. We have had some programs where we would get over 100 people.”

Beilfuss says she tries to arrange programs to appeal to all  interests. “We like to have variety,” she says. “We have programs on medical topics. We have authors who come to talk about their books. We like to have people talk about local history.”

The library staff and volunteers help with the serving of lunch, which takes place at 11:30 a.m. The speaker follows in the noon hour. Programs take place inside the Lanier Room.

“Friends of the Library means so much to us,” she said.

In 2017, funding from the Friends of the Library supported a staggering number of 307 programs attended by an estimated 13,500 people.

Friends of the Library promotes and supports Bradshaw-Chambers County Library as a cultural, educational and recreational asset to the community.

The Summer Reader program had an especially good year in 2017. Participation was up by an astounding 67 percent with more than 800 youngsters taking part.

Those who make a donation and become a Library Friend this year can help fill backpacks for kids. The Library wants to give a backpack filled with school supplies to  every child that reads at least 100 books this summer. A Library Friend can sponsor one or more of these readers. A good response on the part of the public could sustain this into future years.

Donations by Library Friends help the library have such programs as Lunch N Learn, Senior Day, overnight and day trips, lifelong learning courses and more.

Beilfuss says the overnight and day trips have been a very good offering on the part of the library. “There is so much to see and do in this area,” she said. “I have been here for five-and-a-half years, and we have never had to repeat a trip. Some of the trips we take are very popular and we repeat them just to make sure everyone who wants to go on it gets to.”

There was a great deal of interest in going out on West Point Lake aboard Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s floating classroom, Miss Sally. “We had three trips to accommodate everyone who wanted to go,” Beilfuss said.

Another very popular outing was a day trip to Montgomery to take a ride on the Alabama River aboard a riverboat.

Beilfuss has some interesting trips lined up for the spring. There’s a motor coach trip to Columbus on Friday, March 16th to see “West Side Story” at the Springer Opera House. A few seats are still available to see this classic production.

She has something really special lined up on Monday, April 9. It’s a trip to the Marble City Festival in Sylacauga, Ala. Attendees will take a walking tour of the Sylacauga library’s marble collection. These sculptures have been carved by Italian master sculptors over the past 10 years and are spectacular. There’s also a bus tour through a marble quarry and a stop at Observation Point. The group will get the chance to see master sculptors working at their craft. The trip will conclude with a trip to Sylacauga’s Blue Bell creamery.

“In November, we are looking at a trip to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge,” Beilfuss said. “We have worked out an arrangement to take our trips on Dobbs motor coaches. We are excited to be able to offer this, and we want to thank Tifton Dobbs for being willing to do it for us.”