By Woodrow Polston
The Vandalia Branch Library had a shaky start to their third season of the Book Walk at Tri-County Park. Ruth Nation, who oversees the program, was notified on May 27 that someone had damaged the signposts for the books. When she arrived at the park to survey the damage, she found the signposts wrenched from the ground, lying flat.
“We filed a report with the Audrain County Sheriff’s Department,” said Nation. “A deputy came out to the park to see the damage. He said that he would be going around door to door in the area to see if any residents had possibly witnessed the crime. As of right now, we haven’t heard any information on leads,” she added.
After the discovery of the damaged signposts, the library received a lot of feedback from the community on how much the book walk was appreciated. Ruth was determined to replace them and get the book walk ready for the next display. She said that her husband helped with the labor.
“He has been so helpful from the very beginning of when we started the book walk,” said Nation. “Every time that I put up a new book, he goes ahead of me taking down all the old pages. He took the new posts and drove them into the ground with his post driver. He donated the wood for the posts and a man in Farber cut out the sign boards for us and attached them to the posts,” she added.
When the book walk first began three years ago, the Van-Far School District helped out by doing the lamination of the pages. After a test run, it was determined that the lamination was not holding up under the weather. That was when Chrystal Bruner, director of the Mexico-Audrain County Library, helped the Vandalia Branch Library acquire a new lamination machine. Funds for the cost of the program have also been donated by the Rotary Club.
“We have had generous donations for the program,” said Nation. “When it comes to choosing a title each month, I usually do a poll and ask which books would be good for the walk. This month’s title is “Sheep Take a Hike,” by Nancy E. Shaw. This book has been around for a long time, but it is a really good book. The first book that we did was about a hen that takes a walk. So, this one is keeping the theme with the book walk. We typically use books that will involve outdoors themes, except when we post a Halloween theme in the fall. The books also have to be a certain length according to the number of signs that are at the park. When we order the title for the walk, we have to purchase two copies, because we have to be able to display both sides of each page on the boards.” she added.