Nothing scares our library personnel and the Friends of Libraries more than the dreaded governmental cuts to library funding - a recurring ordeal - and this year's recommendation to reduce staff, evening hours and interlibrary exchanges were of particular concern. This year's proposed cuts were averted when the Lee County Commissioners voted recently to preserve library hours, staff and the book exchange program. To Commissioners Mann, Manning, Kiker, Pendergrass and Hall - thank you from the Friends of Libraries across Lee County.
And, now that the commissioners have continued to keep the lights on, we can unequivocally announce that Read Down Fines will continue on Monday evenings:
- Mondays, Oct. 14, 21 and 28: 67 p.m.
- Thursdays, Oct. 17 and 24: 3:304:30 p.m.
But it wouldn't be October without some offerings such as:
- Friday, Oct. 11, at 2 p.m.: Things that Go Pop in the Night. Come witness master balloon artists and magicians Joey and Alexandra Evans as they present some of Halloween's greatest characters and stories. In addition to magic and mystery, the Evanses will produce eye-popping balloon designs guaranteed to take the audience on a thrilling air adventure. This one-of-a-kind show is only offered once a year at which time participants continually hold on to the edge of their seats. Sponsored by the Friends of the Cape Coral Library, the program is free but registration is required. Tickets are available at the library or registration is available online.
And Lee County Library System's Database Contest runs from Oct. 1-29. Entry forms are available during normal library hours. Drop completed entries in the answer box at the Youth Services desk to be entered in the prize drawing for books. There is a limit of one entry for each database questionnaire. Deadline for the entries is October 29. Drawings will be held October 30, when winners will be contacted.
- Mondays at 3:30 p.m.: Craft Corner is open for knitting and crocheting projects. Materials are provided or bring projects in progress. Sponsored by the Friends of the Cape Coral Library, registration is required.
Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., Chess Anyone? Gives participants a chance to rise to the chess challenge. Everyone is welcome and sets are provided - or bring a personal set. Sponsored by the Friends of the Cape Coral Library, these challenges are free.
Check Leelibrary.net for other on-going programs.
In the library art gallery through October:
Not everyone seems to know we have a state-of-the-art art gallery but once this jewel is located, the viewers find new reasons to visit the library. This month's artists are exceptional:
Barbara Valentine's paintings evoke the feeling depicted in the scene, even when the painting is abstract. Having won many awards locally, Valentine graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in music, and from Michigan State University with a master's degree in education. Her background is in school administration - until she retired, moved to Cape Coral and began to display her latent talent on canvas.
Marianne Barger's watercolors are inspired by her experience as a scuba diver and underwater photographer. Barger found that photos didn't truly do justice to the wonder and beauty of nature so she began to add life to the many images through her paintings - to the delight of those viewing her magnificent work. Her theme is "Florida Creatures."
Mary Ann Lehmann's clay creations are on display in the glass cases - and what a colorful sight they are. Lehmann began working in clay in 2005 after retiring from a 30-year career in Exceptional Student Education. Primarily self-taught, she uses slabs of clay and handmade pieces to layer textured leaves, fish and bowls. She produces whimsically colorful and spontaneous works of art that have been exhibited in juried shows and galleries throughout Southwest Florida, Alabama and Virginia.
Cape Coral Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Getting a library card is free and easy. Just visit library.lee-county.com 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. Books, CDs, DVDs, etc., are accepted throughout the year for the book sales, the major fundraisers. (Next one beginning Nov. 21) Small quantities can be delivered to the library circulation desk. Books can also be picked up at your home if you have a large donation - which is tax deductible. (A receipt can be provided.) Leave a message on hotline: 349-2572 or e-mail capefriends.org.
Patty Duncan for the Friends of the Cape Coral Lee County Library; 921 SW 39th Terrace, Cape Coral 239-533-4500; TTY 485-1141.