Vandalia Leader

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Information on YMCA/Library Project

Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Information about the Vandalia Library
The Eastern Audrain Library/YMCA project includes approximately 5,000 sq. ft. of the building will be occupied by the library.
In the early 1900’s Vandalia’s first library was organized by the Cosmo Club providing 300 books for residents to borrow. They now have approximately 30,000 books to choose from! Last year the library circulated nearly 40,000 items and had 15,000 patrons. The library has come a long way since the first one.
Today besides books the library offers e-books, books on cd, movies on DVD, VHS, magazines and newspapers. They have six public computers that patrons can use to access the internet. For those who have a laptop or tablet they can access our Wi-Fi. In the children’s department, the library provides an Early Literacy Station computer with educational games for children to use.
They have free monthly computer classes to learn the basics of using a computer.   Some patrons do online college classes using the library’s computers.
The library has a weekly story time program from September to May for children 2 ½ to 5 years of age.  They have been providing story time the 1970’s.  During the summer, the library provides summer reading program for children Kindergarten to 13 years of age. They also have an adult summer reading program.
Libraries have come a long way since the early 1900’s and the Vandalia Branch Library has moved forward with all the changes that libraries offer. If you haven’t visited the library please do so! They are open Monday – Friday 9:00 – 5:30 and Saturday 9:00 – 1:00. If you have any questions feel free to call them at 594-6600.
Members of the library staff:
Crystal McCurdy has been a terrific librarian and branch manager for the Vandalia and surrounding communities for 21 years. She is married to Bobby; they have three children: Beth, Samantha and Jack and two grandchildren. Crystal grew up only five blocks away and spent the majority of her childhood in the library.” Over my time here, I have seen us outgrow this building. We have come such a long way from when I first started working here. We offer much more than just books. With a bigger building we will be able to expand our services. The library is a big asset to our community for adults and children. With job applications being done online, we see many adults using our computers to apply for jobs. For the children, the library is often the first place children get the opportunity to explore books. We all know how important reading well is to learning. Libraries have changed and are still changing with what they offer to the community. To keep up with these changes a bigger, modern building would be great!”
Debbie Marshall has worked part time for the library almost seven years. She grew up on a small farm in Ralls County.  Recently, Debbie and her husband, David, moved back to the farm. She looks forward to having more space for new books as they come in because it is a constant challenge to keep shuffling books around.
Jane Teague has worked part time for the library since 2001. They raised three sons in Vandalia and she enjoys two grandchildren. “It will be nice to have more room and a safer building. I think we need to be all on one floor for the older people to get around and to keep the kids safe.”
Brenda Gower is currently working part time at the Vandalia Branch Library.  Brenda and her husband, Ray, have five daughters who attended area schools. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Education and a Masters degree in science education from Truman University. Brenda has been involved with the area schools and taught Jr. High Science at Van-Far for 29 years.  Currently, she also works at the school in a grade recovery program for middle school students.  Brenda has been active in the area 4-H program as a project leader and other club offices. She has coached area youth teams in soccer and soft-ball. She is a member of the Farber Presbyterian Church where she is involved in their choir, youth ministry, prayer shawl ministry, and adult ministry. She is a member of the St. Cecilia Music club, Liberty Bells Club, and Susanna Randolph DAR Chapter. For several summers, she has attended the aqua class at the Vandalia pool and helped lead exercises.  Brenda understands, “there is a need for a library in the area that all can have easy access to as well as a place for area residents to go so they can stay active throughout their life.”