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Last Thursday, November 15th, Keene Memorial Library hosted the White Light Tree Lighting event. I am pleased to say that the turnout was beyond anything we could have expected. We easily hosted 300-350 people! They filled the upstairs non-fiction area with Santa and Mrs. Claus visitors, the main floor with crafts/cocoa/coffee/snacks, and west entryway giving away white light candles. Among those guests were Mayor Getzschman and City Administrator Brian Newton, who were on hand to help celebrate and share in the joy of the evening. We were also blessed with members of the VFW who were present and were honored for a belated Veteran’s Day.

The Girl Scouts assisted us with the main floor activities while many volunteers assisted with the candles, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and the food area. A huge “thank you” to the staff for encouraging their own kids to help out with the event. When it came time for the Boy Scouts to lead us in the Color Ceremony and Pledge of Allegiance, the west lawn was packed with spectators waiting for Marianne Simmons to light the big, gorgeous Tree of White Lights. The new lights that were installed this year make it look like the tree is raining! The new lights and gingerbread kids made for a wonderful evening under the tree. Our new angel chairs and butterfly benches are another wonderful addition to the Christmas tree area. It is events like this that allow the library to bring together community members to share in an inspiring evening, creating a positive atmosphere. It also gives us a chance to say “thank you” to our many patrons. The library prides itself on being inclusive, providing services and programs to meet the needs of Fremont community members. We could not provide these services and programs without wonderful staff, amazing volunteers, and great members of the Friends group.

I often find myself telling stories about the hard work and dedication of library staff. I follow that up with, “They are the ones that make things happen. I’m just there to give guidance and direction.” I am blessed to have such an amazing, forward thinking, self-inspired staff that believes in our mission. I think you hire the right people and put them in the right position so you can lead from the back, not the front. They allow me to do my job and focus on the expansion project, while they keep things running smoothly in programs, materials, services, displays, education, partnerships, volunteers, and more.

With Thanksgiving this week, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone that touches or inspires the library in any way, shape or form. Working together is what allows us to shine! If you are one of these many, many individuals, give yourself a pat on the back because you make a difference in your community.

Tina Walker is Director of Keene Memorial Library in Fremont.

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