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MacLaren is Beach Library artist of the month

May 9, 2012
By Dr. Leroy Hommerding , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Weekly Activities

Preschool Story Hour at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 9.

Basic Computers on Thursday, May 10, at 10:30 a.m. Pre-register.

Article Photos

Beach resident Krystal Rose’s display honors Estero Island.

Dog Day on Thursday from 3:00-4:15 p.m. Pre-register.

Getting Started on the IPad on Friday, May 11, at 10:30 a.m. Pre-register.

Book Discussion group meets Tuesday, May 15, at 10 a.m.

Activity Details

Basic Computers on May 10 is a perfect time to get more comfortable with features of the computer. Topics include different ways to move, start programs, copy and save/find/open files, mouse, keyboard and desktop shortcuts and specific participant questions. Pre-register.

We are happy that Dog Day resumes May 10. Time can be reserved so that your child or grandchild can read to a dog. This literacy program revolves around making reading fun. Each child has a separate session with the dog and dog-handler.

Getting Started with Your IPad includes the basics as well as general settings, organizing your apps and multitasking.

Book Discussion is concentrating on "The Moonflower Vine" by Jetta Carleton. Summer is a good time to explore the benefits of a discussion group.

Honoring Estero Island

On display this month in the large case near the audios on the first floor is a display by resident and artist Krystal Rose. Honoring Estero Island focuses on the nature so essential to this piece of Paradise. Krystal utilizes indigenous items--shells and feathers, wood and some of her crafted artifacts using local natural ingredients. Also included are visual images she's taken on Estero Island during the past 15 years--available both on cards as displayed and in a digital presentation.

Artist of the Month

Featured in the Conference Room are paintings of Judith MacLaren. She was instrumental in gifting the library with the window to the Bay as painted on the walls of the stairway leading from the first to second floor. Her works on display cover a variety of topics and settings. One gets the impression that Judith has a knack for making painting look easy, complimenting both her eye for detail and the blending of colors.

Illustrative of her versatile talent, on display in the low case at the top of the stairs on the second floor, are many dollhouse furniture items she created for a 15 room dollhouse she built. While we don't have room for the dollhouse, observe the photo of the house on display and many examples of the furniture created for the rooms, including attic, patio and screen-in back porch.

Friend's Bookstore

The Friend's are seeking volunteers who would have four hours in a week to spend time in the store. If interested, please leave your name at the front desk and you'll get a call from the Bookstore Manager to set up a time. You are needed. The primary qualifications are being a people person, have four hours in your schedule each week, and here year-around. Summer is a good time for getting started as the pace is slower and there's time to digest the routine. In addition, you'll also have the privilege of participating in the relocation of the bookstore into the Library Commons when the expansion is completed. Thanks for considering this possibility of assisting in the bookstore.


About this time in 1955, there was great enthusiasm for a new project on the Beach. The Beach Women's Club had put out a request for suggestions for a permanent project in the spring, and one of those came from Mrs. Ruth Craig Healy who gave a convincing plea for a library. A Committee gave the report to the new and outgoing Boards of the Women's Club who had checked into other small libraries and heartily endorsed the idea for a library.

Not content with just a make-do library, Mrs. Healy contacted the Florida State Library Board and the Library Association of Chicago as her goal and that of the Committee was to establish a library that met the best of library requirements and regulations.

One-half of the first year's rent for the building, which still stands at 407 Estero Blvd, was paid for by the McGee Family (active in real estate) and the other half was paid for by the Women's Club. When it seems we have a special affection for the Women's Club, it is because of their dedication and caring as far back as 1955 that made the Beach Library possible. The current expansion, which meets or exceeds the best of library requirements and regulations, is truly still in sync with the history the Beach Library set into practice already in 1955.


Three seats on the Library Board of Directors are open in this year's November election, with qualifying period noon June 4, through noon June 8. The Beach Library has a long history of dedicated Directors, residents of whom much is expected both in terms of time and dedication. The term for each Director is four years. The more the Director cares about the library the better their orientation and time will be. Each Director is expected to prepare for each monthly meeting, serve on a committee or two and be available to help respond to the needs of the library.

A challenge, and also a blessing, is that Directors are volunteers. They are not paid for their service on the Board. They pay for incidental expenses and often can be found being donors themselves. In some years, having candidates who were available for service on the Board were sparse. This is no surprise when one considers that most are not only giving a lot of their time, necessitating at times some changes in their own personal schedule, but are often also involved in serving the community in another capacity. While this service orientation has not produced a plethora of candidates, it has given the Beach Library Directors who have been close in spirit to that established when enthusiasm for setting up the library in 1955 was active.

Library Hours

When we are closed, a recorder gives the hours of operation, either on 765-8162 or on 765-8163. Stop by on Monday & Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 to 5; and on Saturday 9-1. We look forward to seeing you.



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