THE THORNTOWN LIBRARY,
A SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
“The Thorntown Public Library staff and board of trustees are both humbled and proud to have been named the Parade Marshalls for the 2008 Festival of the Turning Leaves in Thorntown,” reports library director Karen K. Niemeyer. “We look forward to greeting the many customers and visitors who will line the parade route. Just as eagerly we look forward to perpetuating the slogan we adopted during the library’s 2004 renovation and expansion project: we are ‘building our future on the foundation of the past.’”
The parade theme “So Many Books….So Little Time” represents one of the reasons that the library offers more than just print resources. To assist readers in finding time for reading the library offers books on cassette, cd, video and DVD, as well as in both regular and larger print. In addition, the Thorntown Public Library offers to its cardholders downloadable books that users may import into a computer and then into an MP-3 player.
The Thorntown library serves taxpayers in Jefferson, Sugar Creek, Washington
and Clinton townships and serves other Boone and non-Boone residents through
a non-resident card.
The operations of the library are managed by a seven-member board appointed by the Boone County Council, Boone County Commissioners and Western Boone School Board. Members are Deanna Brueggert, Teresa Carter, Ron Guinn, Stephanie Jones, Fern Miner, Eric Ragsdale and Patty Ramsey. Board president Guinn and library director Niemeyer will be riding in the parade marshal's car while library staff and customers will ride on a decorated float and take part in a book cart drill/dance team.
The library staff are also providing a float for area residents who participated in the September 12 United Way Day of Caring in Thorntown. “Thirty volunteers from Gander Mountain, HachetteBook Group, MIBOR and The Farmers Bank swept into Thorntown before 9:00 a.m. on that rainy Friday and, assisted by volunteers from the Thorntown United Methodist Church and public library, painted and weeded until rained out at 2:45 p.m.,” Niemeyer said. “The event was heartening. The volunteers repaired and painted the Thorntown Heritage Museum and a private home, and weeded and cleaned up flower beds at the museum, library, Lions Park, Tom Johnson Memorial Park, and one private residence. Others assisted library staff in preparing new labels for books and videotapes. Two sentences cannot begin to demonstrate how hard everyone worked to label materials and to power wash flaking paint, prime the wood, complete the painting, repair gutters and burned-out exterior lighting, pull weeds and deadhead or cut off plants past their prime, prune trees, and transport at least four heaping truck loads of plant material to the town’s designated depository by the Thorntown Utilities pond. They really WORKED and we are including a float that says, “Thorntown Thanks United Way Day of Caring Volunteers.”
The public library offers a wide range of materials and programs and serves as a community center for the western part of the county. For a $2.00 suggested donation lunch is served to senior citizens Monday through Friday at 11:30 and provided through CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions. Staff and other volunteers often offer cake and ice cream to celebrate birthdays, hiring anniversaries, Hoodie Hoo Day and other holidays, the arrival of a replacement computer, the first daffodil of spring, and many other significant and not-so-significant events. The Celebrate Today Center’s informal motto is, “Any day is a good day for cake.”
Sitting Fit Exercises are conducted from the safety of chairs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12:15, and quilting takes place around two quilting frames at 1:30-3:30 on Fridays. New participants are invited to any of the library programs. On a monthly basis there are book discussion groups for children, teens and adults, writing groups for teens and adults, a cooking class for teens, greeting card classes, Red Hatters’ meetings, and Youth and Teen Advisory Council Meetings. The Taste of Home Sampler group began in 1996 and meets every other month to taste a dozen new recipes from the Reiman family of magazines. A Friends of Thorntown Public Library group was formed and its newsletter was begun in 1996 announcing programs, activities, new materials, and the monthly lunch menu. Children’s story times are offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and a youth knitting/needlework class is taught on Wednesdays and Fridays. Last year the youth painted designs on damaged ceiling tiles that were placed in the young adult room, and daily ten public computers are accessed by all ages. The library’s T-1 line serves both public and staff computers efficiently and also allows the public to access a wireless connection to the Internet 24/7. Area residents may be located in the parking lots, at the picnic table, and inside the library while using their laptops. Copy and fax machines are available, as are a typewriter and microfilm reader-printer. The library lends slide and overhead projectors, an LCD projector, a portable screen, and DVD and VHS players. Meeting rooms are available at no charge and may be booked online.
The library’s web site (www.bccn.boone.in.us/tpl) is praised state-wide and nation-wide for its services and local history/genealogy offerings. Online reference and services are provided through the site, as is the library’s catalog. Local indexers have included details about area cemeteries and vital records.
Materials are delivered to homebound residents on Tuesdays and monthly to Homewood via a courier. Other area health centers may obtain the service when an area courier is available to make the deliveries. The staff utilizes the Indiana deaf relay system when communicating by telephone with the hearing impaired and the building is handicapped accessible.
Established in 1914 with a $10,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie, the library housed 3400 square feet until 2004 when it expanded to 14,000 square feet. Portions of the two homes demolished to allow the building project have been preserved and are showcased inside the library. A reproduction of the town’s historic (1909-1944) fountain was installed at the west entrance in August 2007; this effort was made possible through donations, grants, and fund-raising efforts. In 2008 and 2009 a Secret Garden, based on a 1915 children’s book by the same title, is being created on the north side of the library. Fund-raising for this project is on-going and engraved memorial brick pavers will be featured inside the garden and are still available for a $28.00 purchase price. The garden space was designed for reading, youth and adult programs, and group gatherings. It is the final piece that was eliminated in order to keep the 2004 building project to a total price of two million dollars and minimize the impact on the library’s tax payers. At present the library staff and board are working with the Thorntown Heritage Museum to expand its services and increase access to its important local history collection. An advisory committee is presently being formed and will hold its first meeting on Monday, September 29, 7:00 p.m. at the library.
Walls seem to be no barrier for the Thorntown Public Library, as evidenced
by a sign on the director’s desk: “The library is not a place—it’s
For a more complete list of new materials including books-on-tape,
music CD’s, etc. go to the library’s web site at:
October 16, 2008