Quackerjack Mini-Series

Sometimes I think the annual lucky duck race, and all that goes into it, has the makings of a good mini-series.  The story begins with the setting, as we zoom in on a creek running through a small town in Indiana.  A town that celebrates fireworks on the 4th of July and Lemon Shake-Ups at the Heritage Fair, it is a picture-perfect snapshot of Americana.

The cast includes a fun group of characters who are planning one of the hottest events of the year, the Friends of the Library's Annual Lucky Duck Race!  The show stars Friends' President, Coco Bill, who leads her volunteers with the motto "If you aren't having fun, you aren't doing it right." Also starring is George Gasparovic who reprises his role as The Judge by driving around town with a giant rubber duck in the back of his pick up truck. Producer, Ann Johnson, and her assistant Alicia Pitman, orchestrate some behind the scenes magic, collecting and sorting hundreds and hundreds of entry forms and rubber ducks. Dawn Mattingly acts as Set Designer by setting the stage for the big Finish Line Party.  The team of Promoters work hard to orchestrate as much fun as possible at the adoption events.  And finally, we have the mysterious person in a duck suit who visits various places in town for photo bombing opportunities. These are just a few of the many likable characters who rally around Quackerjack, an 8' inflatable rubber duck, who has taken on a life of his own. When this cast gets together, the laughs come easily, and the duck puns come even easier.

The plot, of course, is all driven by the big race at The Falls, to be held on September 7th at 2:00 p.m. Which local business will get its name on the winners' plaque? What number will be pulled from the 700 ducks floating that day?  Will it rain!?  These are all of the unanswered questions that have been building up all season long. Stay tuned for the finale!

Lynn Hobbs
PCL Director

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Part of Our Story

May 27, 2019.  It is now a part of our story.  

I have no doubt that in a few years, the Pendleton Historical Museum will have space dedicated to the Memorial Day tornado.  Photos, news articles, artifacts, and documented tales of a community coming together will live among the war uniforms, Mary Aherns paintings, and school memorabilia. All of these pieces put together help us tell our story, the story of Pendleton, Indiana.

On the Wednesday after the storm, I headed to Falls Park to listen to the local press conference.  Walking through muddy tire treads, and carefully stepping over power lines and tree limbs, I made my way to the gazebo where I saw lots of familiar faces.  I asked after their families and homes.  Everybody had a story to share, their accounts of rattling garage doors, trembling children, and stubborn pets.  We will all remember May 27, 2019 and the days that follow.  Because it is now a part of our story.

At the library, we collect stories.  Lots of them. And on June 1st, we are kicking off our summer reading program with the theme, "A Universe of Stories."  At the library, you can find stories of adventure, romance, and triumph. You can find stories of treacherous journeys through fantastic lands and biographies of war veterans, movie stars, and politicians...all rich narratives of hard-fought victories, humbling defeats, and improbable heroism.  

The story of Pendleton, Indiana is still going, and I am certain that the best is yet to come. But, May 27, 2019 will remain a significant chapter.  It is now a part of our story.

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spreading the news

A few weeks ago, I was at a local salon for the first time.  The stylist asked me if I lived in Pendleton, and I told her that I worked at the library.  To that, she sheepishly responded, "Well, I can't say that I spend a lot of time there." I laughed and said that we didn't judge. But, I suggested that she stop in sometime to see what we offer these days.  I happened to mention that she could check out a free power washer from our Library of Things, and she was pretty surprised. 

When I went on to mention that virtual reality goggles, a metal detector, ukulele, and TV antenna were all available, she hollered over to another stylist, "Are you hearing this?" Before she could respond, the woman sitting in the other stylist's chair yelled back, "I'm sure hearing it, and I had no idea!"  And, just like that, I had slyly promoted the public library to three people, all while getting an eyebrow wax.

Sharing news about the good work of public libraries is a never-ending job.  There will always be somebody who just doesn't know what the modern library offers, and we'll take opportunities to let people know every chance we get. 

Last month we embraced National Library Week with our Friends of the Library.  The outpouring of support from our community was reaffirming. We always love the opportunity to share information about the importance of libraries, even with those who visit on a regular basis.  Whether you are a regular user or somebody who hasn't visited in a while, we invite you to stop in and take a look around.  Check out a ukulele while you're at it.

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Libraries = Strong Communities

This year's National Library Week theme is ​Libraries = Strong Communities. I like the idea, but I'm not sure that the equation is completely accurate. The very existence of a library facility within a community will not necessarily create a strong community. You need a strong library to create a strong community. And, you need a strong community in order to have a strong library. Because the library is about the people who use it. 

Say a patron visits the Pendleton Community Public Library for the first time because he needs a document notarized. He may happen upon the Library of Things and quickly find out that he can check out a free power washer. In talking with the library staff, he also learns that a mobile hotspot and telescope are free to check out. Perhaps he sees a new movie that he wants to watch. Maybe he picks up the latest newsletter and learns that the library offers free legal assistance programs and Saturday exercise classes. 
This individual may or may not become a regular user of the library, and that's okay. Of course, we'd love for him to be a steady patron, but at the very least, we'd like for him to be a steady supporter. By spreading the word about the public library and what it offers, others can learn about the services and resources available to them, right here in Pendleton. By connecting individuals to the specific resources they need, the library becomes a more valuable institution, fulfilling the unique needs of our community in a way that only the public library can. 

Libraries help people every day in any number of ways. Sure, we'll help you find a good book. But, we'll also help you find the right tax form. We'll answer your reference questions. We'll also help you with a crossword puzzle. We'll help you navigate a job search or proofread your resume. We'll give you a tour of the community garden and a packet of seeds to try at home. Even if you need a little help putting food on the table this month, we can help. 

Your public library is always here for you. But we need you to be here for us. Without patrons and supporters, the library is just a building. Buildings don't create strong communities. The people inside of them do.

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The Talents That Surround Us

A couple of years ago, I was at the South Madison Community Foundation's Open Hearts, Open Purses event. I was perusing the silent auction baskets, and was particularly interested in the one that offered a classically-trained chef who will come to your house and cook a gourmet Cajun meal for eight. What really struck me was that the Cajun chef was the Foundation's own Lisa Floyd!

Fast forward to last year when the South Madison Community Foundation awarded $7,000 to the library for a learning kitchen. The kitchen is to be used for cooking classes and demonstrations. You can probably see where this is headed.

On Saturday, February 23rd at 1:00 p.m., Lisa Floyd will be featured in The Learning Kitchen as she prepares jambalaya and bread pudding. Those who attend will be taught the secrets of gourmet Cajun cooking from one of Pendleton's premier movers and shakers!

At the library, we took this idea a step farther. We recognize that there are lots of talented people in our area. Quilters, woodworkers, birders, knitters, weavers, artists, writers, plumbers, musicians...the list goes on and on. And, these are the individuals who create the fabric of our community. So, doesn't it make perfect sense for the library to tap into all of these talents as a way to help you discover your next passion?

One of the goals on the library's long-range plan is to "focus adult programming on lifelong learning, skills development, and civility." One of the ways we hope to do that is to find local community members who are willing to share their skills and talents with others. If you've got a talent to share, please let us know by emailing ckase@pendleton.lib.in.us.

If you are interested in reading the library's entire long-range plan for 2019-2021, it is available on our website.

Lynn Hobbs
PCL Director

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