Bradshaw-Chambers Library is a great asset for community

Published 7:49 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

Bradshaw-Chambers County Library a great asset for the Valley Bradshaw-Chambers County Library is a tremendous asset for the Greater Valley Area. We are extremely fortunate to have a local library that has the kinds of exhibits, lectures, luncheon programs, online offerings, and oh yes, there’s plenty of good books on their shelves. Very few communities our size has a public library that does as much as Bradshaw-Chambers County does.

Alabama’s 200th birthday won’t be until December 14th of this year, but the library has already had first-class treatment for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The traveling exhibit that was here last month was first rate. It offered a convenient way to see the Alabama story from prehistoric times. Large panels could take the visitor from the pre-Columbian period through the period of settlement, cotton becoming king, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the state becoming an industrial power, the struggle for Civil Rights and social change and the current period of hope for the future.

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The typical visitor was most impressed with what they saw, not realizing what a chore it was for the library staff to uncrate and put up those huge, bulky panels and then take them down and crate them up for a shipment to another location in Alabama.

The traveling exhibit will make stops in all 67 counties before the state celebrates the big day on December 14.

There’s still a chance to see the library’s exhibit on Chambers County. It’s going to be there for the remainder of 2019.

It tells Chambers County’s story from the pre-Columbian period to the current era, featuring famed residents such as frontier writer Johnson Jones Hooper, Sheriff Pat Garrett and boxing champ Joe Louis Barrow. My favorite stop is the Space Case, which has the spacesuit-fitted tiny astronaut Sara Jean Ponder Ector used to take with her when speaking to groups about WestPoint Pepperell’s role in the U.S. race for the moon in the 1960s.

The library recently concluded a most interesting Making Alabama Lunch N Learn series. This was themed around the Bicentennial and had presentations from Eddie Lanier on the history of the textile industry in Alabama, Dr. Christopher Haveman on the migration of the Creek Indians to Oklahoma in the 1820s, Dr. Marty Olliff on Alabama’s transition from the horse and buggy trails of the 1800s to the modern highway system we have today and Dr. Dana Chandler’s discussion of archaeology in east Alabama with emphasis on how he’s teaching high school students uncover evidence on how the earliest Alabamians lived.

We’re planning on be at the Lunch N Learn program next Thursday.

Julie Williams will be doing a program on three not-so-ordinary Joes and how they affected 20th century literature.

The library played host to some special events during Black History Month.

On February 21, Derryn Moten talked about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to non-violent social change, marking the 60th anniversary of “Crusader Without Violence.”

There was a sports legend film series on such greats as Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens, Ernie Davis and the 1966 all-black Texas Western basketball team that defeated an all-white Kentucky team for the national title.

We can support the library by being a Library Friend. In 2018, this funding supported over 340 library programs attended by close to 16,000 patrons.

This year’s goal is $30,000. People can contribute at levels of $10 up to the benefactor level of $100 or more. Donations benefit, Bradshaw-Chambers County Library, the LaFayette Public Library and Cobb Memorial Archives.

People can also help out by filling a backpack for the Summer Reader program. This is one of the best programs offered by the library. It nurtures  a love of learning for the young. This is something a person can have that will last them for a lifetime.

This immensely popular program is fast growing in its outreach. It’s grown in participation by 144 percent over the last two summers. Just under 1,000 children took part in it last year.

Every child that reads at least 100 books this summer will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

Anyone who contributes $20 will fill one backpack and the person who gives $100 will fill five of them.

Fun seekers can join the Library Travelers. They travel to all sorts of interesting places. This fall they will be going by motor coach to Maine.

It should be a fun, relaxing journey and a chance to see some beautiful scenery and east some delicious lobster.