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Murdoch is Beach Library artist of the month

September 12, 2012
By Dr. Leroy Hommerding , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Upcoming Activities

Preschool Story Hour on Wednesday, Sept 12, at 10:30am.

Basic Computer Q & A, Thursday, Sept 13, at 10:30am. Pre-register.

Dog Day, Thursday Sept 13

Artist of the Month

Our first artist adorning the expansion, especially in the Community Room area is Barbara Chloe Murdoch. She began fulfilling her dream of pursing art in 1992 and since has made watercolor her choice medium.

She paints a variety of subjects and has a fun way of mixing color and imagination, abstract scenes with hidden images. She has added delightful steps to restructuring the artistic language in delivering the inner world of self as well as the messages that stand ready to be discovered in the natural world. One might even be so bold as to say that Barbara Chloe Murdoch is able to disclose the uniqueness of being human.

Enjoy the 20 treasures on display in the Library Commons on the third floor. See the biographical information included among the paintings for more to appreciate. Also, check out the display on the second floor of the expansion where Barbara Chloe Murdoch has developed a line of custom greeting cards utilizing the painting images.

Facts about Libraries

Public library cardholders in the United States outnumber Amazon customers 5 to 1. Libraries record more than 1.1 billion visits each year, compared to 204 million sports tickets sold in a year.

While attending the American Library Association Convention in June, many speakers alluded to the fact that usage of public libraries is up across the entire 50 states. We have noticed the same at the Beach Library. I expected that usage and onsite visits would be down during construction, but that has not been the case, and summer usage between May and August is up 10 percent from the same period last year.

Expansion Open

We welcome those who have enjoyed their first usage of, or tour, or getting familiar with the layout of the expansion, as well as the regulars. It has been a deeply gratifying experience hearing the comments, notes of satisfaction and praise, and support. I am eagerly looking forward to the day when construction is 100 percent completed so we can concentrate on the additional services and options this project will make possible.

Realizing that the library is important to many, we are trying to proceed with the construction and remain open. This is no small task. The contractors need to constantly have an eye to scheduling and completing the construction with no possibility of injury and as little interruption as possible. It is also a challenge for staff as we are called upon to make many adjustments to enable the construction to move ahead. As you can tell from the progress to date, it is going well. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Even though the expansion is not completely as it is when finished because we've needed to make adjustments, we are eagerly looking forward to the end of the year when we can move toward settling into a completed facility.


The crews have made quick strides to date with the old elevator removed and the accompanying equipment room and old mechanical room walls are gone and even the bathrooms have been demolished. The floor pattern needs adjustment to enable the facility to be one complete structure. One will not be able to tell where the former facility starts and the expansion ends.

The circulation desk that graced the former library is no longer. To honor its tradition of service, the center of that desk has been refinished and now serves as the counter in the Friends of the Library Bookstore in the Library Commons.

Wood rafters were used in the construction of the original facility. In the updating required, these rafters are being covered with a fireproof membrane. By the time you read this, the sheath is in place.


The Beach Library is a smoke-free and tobacco-free facility. Please do not use any type of tobacco product in the Library building, parking areas, and throughout the grounds of the library.

We received regular comments about smoking in the vicinity of the entrance and the harm of secondhand smoke. This prompted the Board to review the need to be smoke-free and tobacco-free. Less Americans are smoking these days. According to the data gathered by the US Centers for Disease Control, 19.3 percent of Americans over the age of 18 are smoking. What is encouraging is even these smokers are cutting back with the percentage of smokers who had fewer than 10 cigarettes a day rising to 21.8 percent compared to 16.4 percent in 2005. They also highlighted the reality that smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke is the top preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S., claiming an estimated 443,000 American lives each year.

In collaboration with Lee County Health Dept and the "Tobacco Free Lee" initiative, anyone needing to use tobacco products is to enter the pedestrian flow on public land. In practice, this means walking on the sidewalk, where one exists, or on the side of the street, if there is no sidewalk, in the direction that pedestrian traffic is going. Please do not discard cigarette or cigar butts or other residue of tobacco on the campus.

Library Hours

When you call in during closed hours, a message gives the open hours. Open hours during the renovation are Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday 9 to 5, and Saturday 9 to 2. Hours will be extended further once the construction is 100 percent completed.



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