Jerald Steward, president of the Lake County Library Endowment Fund board of directors, emceed the Grand Opening and dedication ceremony of Lakeview’s new public library on Saturday, Nov. 16.
After his own speech, Steward introduced MaryKay Dahlgreen, Oregon state librarian, who recalled being welcomed on visits to Lakeview before by former Head Librarian Cecil Elder and current Building Chairman Sally Fitzgerald. A poem reading by Josh Fledderjohann followed her talk.
“People on the street corners were giving even odds that the time capsule at the courthouse would be opened before the new library,” said Steward as part of his opening speech. The time capsule is due to be opened next in 2076, which prompted Steward to say, “Pay up guys, we beat you by 63 years!”
On a more serious note, Steward outlined a brief history of Lakeview libraries since 1905, with a moment of silence to remember two former head librarians, Verna Price and Elder.
Dahlgreen estimated that, with the new building in place, the year’s library book circulation would increase by 50 percent, with a 10 percent increase in the number of people borrowing books.
She concluded with a challenge made by Jim Scheppke, the previous Oregon librarian to the community – do everything you can to make sure every child in the community grows up with a love of the library.
Local high school junior Josh Fledderjohann then read a poem written by Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen for the library’s opening. Petersen, due to her schedule, was not able to come to the ceremony.
A children’s story time, mingling and refreshments followed. The new building is located at 26 S. G St., and can be reached by calling 541-947-6019.