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Friends President Paula Novander says so long, but not goodbye

February 23, 2013
By PATTY DUNCAN - Special to The Breeze , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

When not hovering over a hibiscus, Paula Novander is actively and creatively promoting the Friends of the Cape Coral Library. The president of the Friends for two years now, Paula's love of gardening often propels her to tend the grounds as well as the inner essence of the library at Southwest 39th Terrace. Friends' board members are occasional recipients of Paula's unusual creativity as, at a recent meeting, she unveiled an exhibit - one she'd personally constructed using photographs she's taken to visually display the many doings of the Friends of the Cape Coral Library.

"Did you know we provide funds for all of these programs?" she asked, pointing to her dazzling display. "I am especially proud of the fact that we provide so many summer programs for the children. Can you imagine so many kids in the library? And, during the summer? Of course," she mused, "this is Florida."

A photo of Rusty Brown, presenting "The 4 Loves of FDR' was a prominent picture of just one of the many adult programs brought to the library by the Friends of the Cape Coral Library. "These are free to the Cape Coral community," Paula said. "Quality programs like these."

The juggling, magic and reading programs were on display, programs for the youth in her display of favorites.

"Of course, the Earth Day Coloring Contest has a great deal of participation throughout the community," she said. The contest awards dollars to children of all age groups. Coordinated by Alessia Leathers, it is a benefit to the community and, especially, to budding artists and conservationists.

The art gallery and some of the monthly exhibitors were part of Paula's exhibit. "How many libraries have a revolving art gallery?" she asked.

And, of course, she wouldn't be Paula Novander if photos of the Butterfly Garden weren't in the mix. This lovely area in the courtyard behind the library is a special space for our outgoing President.

Like a number of Southwest Florida residents, Paula and husband Bob came to the Friends of the Cape Coral Library after attending one of the biannual book sales (which Bob now manages, quite successfully).

"We were blown away by the early access to the sale if you're a Friends' member. So, of course, we joined," she said. This was at least eight years ago. "And I'm still finding out things that we [the Friends] do."

And the Friends are still finding out the many things that perpetually-energetic President Paula does. Her reign is over in April. Thankfully, she'll remain on the board.

Some of the activities going on at the Cape Coral Library for the month of March include:

Fridays: March 1, 8, 15 and 22 @ 10 a.m.: ENGLISH CAF: These 90 minute sessions provide adults a venue to practice English with the natives. Sponsored by the Friends of the Cape Coral Library.

Mondays through March (4, 11, 18 and 25) at 3:30 p.m., the CRAFT CORNER hosts a knitting and crocheting opportunity. Materials are provided or bring your own materials if you have a project in progress. Sponsored by the Friends of the Cape Coral Library.

Check other programs as well as read down fine times at the Lee County Library web page (see below).

IN THE LIBRARY ART GALLERY: Popular local artist Peg Cullen who is also an award-winning nationally known artist, will be displaying her unique paintings in the gallery. She has won numerous awards including "Best of Show" Woodstock, Illinois; Punta Gorda, Florida; Cedar Key, Florida. Her work has been exhibited in Chicago, Barrington and Woodstock, Illinois; Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Punta Gorda, Pine Island, Cedar Key, Venice and Sanibel, Florida and places too numerous to list.

Also on display in the gallery will be wood carvings by the Caloosa Carvers of Ft. Myers. The carvings represent all skill levels, from novice to master carvers.

CAPE CORAL LIBRARY HOURS: 9 a.m. 8 p.m. Monday Wednesday; 9 a.m. 6 p.m. Thursday; 9 a.m. 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. If you don't have a library card, getting one is free and easy. Just visit to apply online or stop by your library.

All Lee County Library System programs are free and open to the public. A sign language interpreter is available with 48 hours' notice. Call the Deaf Service Center at 461-0334 (voice) or 461-4348 (TTY). Assisted living devices are available. The Lee County Library System also offers free access to books, DVDs, videos, books on CD, electronic resources and other items from a vast collection.

The Lee County Library System makes it possible for people who ordinarily couldn't visit the library to enjoy reading through the Bookmobile, Books-by-MAIL, Talking Books and Literacy programs.

All of the money the Friends of the Cape Coral Library raise is through book sales, dues and other events used to purchase materials, furniture and other items that can not be included in the County library budget. We are always accepting books, CDs, DVDs, etc. for the book sale, our major fund-raiser. (The next one is in April.) Small quantities can be delivered to the library circulation desk. We will also pick up books at your home if you have a large donation which is tax deductible. (We'll be glad to provide a receipt.) Leave a message on our hotline at 349-2572 or send an e-mail to

Patty Duncan for the Friends of the Cape Coral Lee County Library; 921 S.W. 39th Terrace, Cape Coral 239-533-4500; TTY 485-1141.



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