Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hello and Welcome To Your New Library!

When Richard Goetsch, 8-year trustee of the Garden Valley Library board, pronounced those words, they rang with a fervor everyone in the room felt. Yes! We did it!

Community members took possession of their new library with delight, pride and an exuberance that bespoke of the years of waiting, watching and wondering if it would ever happen. Years of trying to pass a bond and finally when it did, the perfect piece of real estate was hard to find. It turned out to be the original spot suggested by the Garden Valley Recreation District--right next to the park, on Old Crouch Road.

After the Garden Valley Community Choir performed "The Star Spangled Banner" and "I am a Small Part of the World", library board president, Richard Wilson, stood at the microphone and said, "I chose that last song for the choir, because hand in hand, working for the future - that's how we got here."

Wilson introduced current library board trustees, Jody Mabe, Kathy Passie, Richard Goetsch and Vandye Forrester, all of whom were recognized for their hard work this past year.
He then commended board members from the past ten years, "who have worked to get us where we are today": Jamie Anderson, Lisa Breish, Diane Dunn, Judy Edwards, Bob Gorman, Hank Gunn, Lee Jarrett, Betsy Johnson, Jan McDowell, Werner Meserth, Pat Michaelis, Peggy Miller, Holly Mortimer, David Webb and Wendy Young.
Following an appreciative introduction, Anna Ellis, Project Manager for CM Company, who also managed the Garden Valley School construction project, thanked the board on behalf of CM: "Board members have been fantastic to work with, the design is beautiful and everything turned out wonderfully!"

Richard Goetsch gratefully acknowledged Garden Valley Syringa Club as the founders of the library. Methinks more should be said about the former Federation of Women's Clubs sister member, Syringa Club, so here I go. Now an independent organization and service club, these women, in the middle of the 20th century, began their mission of providing books to the city, by starting a library in the high school.
With the 1966 donation of the one-room VFW building in Crouch, the women took what books they had, along with books from the Idaho state traveling collection, and started the Syringa Club Library. With a 1967 first place prize from the Idaho Federation of Women's Clubs community improvement contest, and another award underwritten by Shell Oil Company, the library began to seriously collect books.

Mr. Goetsch made note of the 1976 library hours: One day a week, for a couple of hours and Jean Dugan served as librarian. Long-time Syringa Club member, Ione Messick, reminisces, "Jean had more books at home than at the library!"

Messick found out from a county commissioner that the library could get revenue-sharing funds if they were a district. As donations of extra bits of building and shelving and funding came in over the years, the Syringa Club Library became a district library in 1979 and Jeri Brown became the first paid librarian. Lyn Reinig later became the head librarian and is credited for bringing the library into the computer age.

Goetsch astutely observed, "This speaks to the community spirit of people from all over our country...all of us are "simply a bridge between the past and the future."

Continuing, Mr. Goetsch said, "I would like to acknowledge the hard work and valuable time Richard Wilson put in...more than anyone would expect. We have in our community all kinds of people with all kinds of strengths."

Richard Wilson then thanked other organizations who have been a part of the long haul: Carol Smith and the GV Recreation District; Eileen St. Denis and Les Bois Federal Credit Union; the City of Crouch; Larry Leasure and Village Associates (Eileen Leasure, Greg Simione and Gerold Dennett).

The trusty and hard-working library staff were given kudos: Kathy Smith, Director; Hank Gunn, librarian; Nan Kelly (Tech Person Extraordinaire); Linda Bequette, Children's Coordinator; Carol Lynde, librarian and bookkeeper; Lois Heffernan, librarian; Diane Messick, librarian; and Angie Waters.

Teresa Lipus presented a congratulatory certificate to the board of trustees, from the Idaho Commission for Libraries. She said she was here for the groundbreaking last March and she loves to watch community people pull together to achieve a dream like this.

It was noted that the library has received $100K in private donations, as of the opening. Richard Wilson announced that half of that was donated by board trustee, Jody Mabe, in loving memory of her parents. The Friends of the Garden Valley Library donated $15,000; Granny's Closet (Senior Center) donated $1,000; other donations larger and smaller have been received. This has gone a long way to help finish the library.

There is still more to do. The library will still be raising funds for the parking asphalt, cabinetry and other needs. How can you help? Richard Wilson mentioned that community members are welcome to volunteer their time to be a part of this special building, such as showing up to vacuum some of the 5,000 square footage of carpet! Or shelving books. Or join the Friends of the Library and participate in planning and projects. There is also the possibility that the board will be looking for two new trustees.

The ceremony ended with an announcement by Syringa Club President, Georgianna Goetsch, of the first public reading and book signing to take place in our beautiful new library. Syringa Club is pleased to sponsor Idaho's Writer-in-Residence, Bill Johnson - writer/poet/author - on March 17, at 7 p.m.

Mr. Johnson will visit Garden Valley high school and middle school in the morning of the 17th. At noon, he will join Syringa Club and the public for lunch and a talk, at the Senior Center. There is no charge for attending these events. Refreshments will be served at the reading.

Ms. Goetsch reminded the community that the library started with a civic club and that it is our continual job to keep raising money to support our library.
* Friends of the Garden Valley Library are holding a raffle for two exquisite quilts. The vintage traditional quilt was donated by Jody Mabe.The contemporary quilt, featuring the old red barn on Middle Fork Road, has been donated by the artist, Kathie Passie.
The raffle will continue through the summer, until labor day. Tickets may be purchased at the library.
To contact Garden Valley Library, phone 208-462-3317 or e-mail

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