CAROLE GILL: It's more than just reading a book

Do they actually do that at Patrick Lynch Public Library? Your modern community library has many more opportunities than just sitting and quietly reading. But should you want to quietly read, even that experience can be a treasure with a choice of comfortable reading chairs, private carrels or lighted study tables in the adult collection room or window benches, rugs, pre-school floor cushions, stackable benches or even a train for our smaller tikes in the children’s library. Read in the lobby at or near the fireplace in a comfortable chair or love seat, near the windows at a café or bistro table with a cup of hot coffee, cocoa or even green tea from our coffee bar. Teens can have a great book reading escape in their beautiful and bright reading area near the towering windows of their library space, or if concentration and study is required, slip into one of the nearby private study rooms available for all age levels. The small study rooms are used for many other less conventional purposes as well, such as tutoring, military recruiters meeting with families, brief out of town businesses to connect and even friends meeting to enjoy handcrafts together. Teens find the tables just right for playing the board games we provide.Our computer classroom is used for free orientation to basic computer skills and programs for adults, but the room also is used for other classes, scout meetings, children’s movie space and more. Our community room, the larger meeting area, is of course a very helpful and flexible for community meeting space. In the approximately four months we have been open, it has served as space for non-profit and governmental displays, board and committee meetings, free and open community programs and forums, many civic and non-profit organizations’ meeting space, free public movies, a home school classroom and science fair, teen volunteer meetings and just a fun gathering place for kids. Even before construction was complete, a traveling musical arts exhibit sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute was displayed there and we look forward to other free educational exhibits in the future.Other things you would expect here include public computer use and free wi-fi connections throughout the library; video, audio book, magazine and music CD check-outs; fax and copier service and so on. Know that a lot of social, mind expanding and entertaining treasures are waiting for your discovery in 2014 at Patrick Lynch Public Library. We’re always compelled in January to take a backward glance at the year just past. The view from my window sees 2013 as probably the most pivotal year for library access and development. I could spend a lot of Poteau Daily News paper and your time trying to recount all of the generous contributions in time, talents, financial resources, long term commitments and sacrifices that community leaders, businesses, library staff present and past and volunteers of all ages and walks of life in this area and beyond have brought to the table to make this landmark library a living institution for community growth a reality. I would surely miss many if I tried. Each dollar, mile walked, cupcake baked and countless other labors were votes for the continuing, perhaps increasing importance of independent and community based learning, as well as a place for full access community forums and collaborations. In upcoming program announcements, our TLC for toddlers and preschoolers will continue to be on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. this semester and the computer workshops two Thursdays a month, the next being Jan. 23. The library will be closed Thursday, Jan. 16, for an all-system in service training. The Stitcher’s knitting and crochet group will therefore meet at noon in the community room on Jan. 23. A workshop on 3-D greeting card construction will be Saturday, Jan. 25, in the community room and details and a sign-up sheet are now at the circulation desk since participation may be limited. Also on Saturday, Jan. 25, there will be a public presentation on the Affordable Care Act in the computer classroom. For more information on these and other programs and activities, call (918) 647-3833.Carole Gill is the children’s and young adult librarian at Patrick Lynch Public Library in Poteau. E-mail her at