Why do I spend most of the winter cooped up inside waiting for warmer weather only to get to summer and spend most of my time cooped up inside because it’s too hot, too humid and there are too many mosquitoes?
When you are the mother of little ones, the weather can surely put a damper on the needs of children and your sanity. Thankfully there are places we can take the kids for fun while staying in the air conditioning, and one of these places is the library.
I’m especially grateful for the Statham Library. Currently it’s located in downtown Statham, and it couldn’t be more charming. Though small, it does not lack in services for the public.
I started taking my eldest son there shortly after they moved into this location in November 2007. They have enough children’s books to keep us busy for years, and I haven’t even had time to peruse their fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. I have ordered books online through the Interlibrary loan (the Pines system is available throughout Georgia), and if we ever take a trip over to the Winder or Athens library, I’m relieved to know that I can return the books to Statham, which saves me an extra drive. I can also renew books online.
In addition my husband finally got himself a library card so that he can check out audio books, and he has been touring the area libraries to see what kind of books he’ll be listening to in the near future. (Though I envy the time he has to listen to the books, I don’t envy his long commute to work.)
The Statham Library offers free wi-fi as well as several computers for patrons to use. GED classes are held in the community center on Thursday nights through Lanier Tech, and they also have Learning Express, which enables people to study and take practice exams for tests such as the SAT, GED, Firefighters, and Police Qualifications. There is also help for kids of all ages through high school in different subject areas.
During the month of June, they had a children’s program every Tuesday morning, so I took my three-year-old to every one. There was a musician, magician, and storytellers, and each week when I whispered, “Do you like it?” my son gave me a nod and smile, which in his language is a resounding yes.
My baby attended three of them, and though an active child, I was pleasantly surprised by how well he behaved. I think everything from the spirited audience to the swirling ceiling fans and tin-pressed ceiling gave him enough stimulation to keep him quiet for almost the whole hour.
Mary Spencer, Statham Library’s manager, says that between March 2005 and March 2006, their patronage increased by 456%, and the computer usage increased by 1034%. Land has been purchased behind Statham Elementary for a new library whenever the funds can be acquired.
The librarians at the Statham Library are just as kind and helpful as they can be. (I don’t think I’ve ever met an unhelpful librarian!)
I’m sure they are looking forward to getting into a bigger space, but until that can happen, you will find my sons and I hunkered down by the children’s books every few weeks, feeling quite at home at such a cozy library.
Wherever you live in Barrow County, you’ll find a library near you. There’s one in Auburn, Winder and Braselton, and Bethlehem and Carl have book deposits. They are all on the Pines system.
Go to prlib.org for more information, and if you have kids, be sure to check out the summer reading program and the calendar of events! There’s still plenty to do at the libraries this summer.
Shelli Bond Pabis is a Winder resident and columnist for the Barrow Journal. You can reach her at email@example.com.