Summer is here! School is out, adventures are planned, and the possibilities seem endless! That, of course, is the first week. By the second week, the realization that children are busy, energetic humans whose enthusiasm for life can be, well, a bit of a shock for adults who have gotten used to having the house to themselves all day. Never fear! Here is a brilliant idea on how to spend some of those long summer days. Take a field trip to one of the many branches that comprise the Jackson County Library System. 

 When my children were little, I would pack everyone into the car, bring a picnic lunch, hit the road, and visit other branches of our rural county library system. Some of the libraries we visited were over an hour away! It was so much fun. Each library we visited had its own unique personality and flavor and—most exciting to my kids—books that they had never seen before or even heard of! Besides that, there was always something new to see, and new playgrounds to explore.  

For the next several months, the blog committee would like to introduce our readers to the special and unique things about the different branches of our county library system and the communities those libraries serve. 

First up in the series; I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Gold Hill Library during the town’s annual Gold Dust Days. This charming, old-timey event was for all ages, including a parade, local artists and vendors, great food, and tons of fun. 

The parade consisted of various community clubs and civic groups,  

area musicians, 

including the middle school marching band, 

and the friends of the Gold Hill Library (with cleverly designed dancing books in tow.) 

Before the events of the day kicked into full gear, I had an opportunity to visit the Gold Hill Library and speak to Lorna, the Branch Manager. One of her favorite things about working at the Gold Hill branch is the sense of community and how the library is a part of that. Indeed, the branch is nestled right in the heart of downtown, its large picture windows look out over a busy little neighborhood, with restaurants and other businesses taking up residence nearby. 

The library is situated on a lovely property and has the added benefit for children and families of having a playground right outside its front doors. 

Inside, the lively and vibrant children’s section welcomes visitors with several activity stations, including a train table, and little reading house. 

The adult section has a lovely hardwood table for folks to spread out and get work done. There are several places a person can sit and enjoy the cozy ambiance with reading lamps strategically placed for extra light and comfy chairs with little tables attached to perch a book or a cup of coffee.  

The Gold Hill Library has a variety of programs it offers for children, adults, and people of all ages. One program that has proven to be popular is Sewing with Jill. This program offers the opportunity for children and adults to join other sewing enthusiasts to learn to sew or work on projects they have already started. With several sewing machines available, some donated by a library patron and others borrowed from JCLS’s Library of Things, participants work on all manner of projects, some of which are showcased in a library display. 

Visiting Gold Hill that day, I realized how stuck I had been in my own little bubble, how narrow my world had become. It was a breath of fresh air to go somewhere new and different, but still relatively close by. It also afforded me the opportunity to recognize that there are many diverse kinds of people living in our county, living lives that may not be like mine, but still every bit as valuable and important. All of our communities hold treasures to be discovered, so take a chance, go to someplace in Jackson County you’ve never been before, and if you’re lucky like me, you might just have a really good time! 

Lyn Hereema