Thursday, April 23, 2009

This is a picture of the sticker I made to wear at the library today... I want to tell everyone in town that today is a great day for the South Benton Library Project! We now OWN THE LAND! It's been a long process and I'm so happy to be able to say, we now own the land where the New Monroe Community Library will be built and where the historic Monroe Train Depot now sits. This is a wonderful day and in the words of our Deputy Library Director, Teresa Landers,

"As we all know this is a MAJOR milestone in the process. A big thanks to Roger (Irvin, President of South Benton Community Enhancement) for understanding the technical details of such a purchase and to Lori S.(Stephens of Broadleaf Architecture) and Roger for following through on the various steps that had to happen to make this a reality. We also owe the (Benton) County Commissioners for putting their own interests aside and letting us negotiate on our own. And, of course, to our generous donor for providing the funds that made all this possible."

Please pass on the word to everyone in our community about this happy milestone on our journey to a new library!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All Aboard for the New Monroe Library!

Last night South Benton Library Project hosted a Kickoff Event at the Monroe High School Commons. South Benton Community Enhancement's President, Roger Irvin, was on hand to emcee for the event. First, City of Monroe's mayor, Frank Thayer spoke about the growth of our city and how the new library building will be a beautiful gateway into our town. Then Corvallis-Benton County Public Library's Director, Carolyn Rawles-Heiser spoke on behalf of our library system. After her, Monroe's Community Library Specialist, Lori Pelkey, spoke of how important it is to provide a place for our many young people who have discovered their library in the past few years. Having captured our children's attention with books and other library material, it's important to not lose their interest! A bigger library will provide a place for all ages to meet and enjoy what our wonderful library has to offer. From there, architect Lori Stephens, from Broadleaf Archtecture was there to show off the model of the new library and to give us a virtual preview of what the new library will look like, inside and out. We rounded out the evening with a question and answer session. Refreshments were served throughout the evening and everyone enjoyed viewing the model of the new library displayed along with a model train.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

LIA Day 2

Sorry it's taken me so long to write about what happened on Day 2 of our Leadership in Action training here in South Benton. I've been crazy busy trying to digest and implement all the wonderful ideas from those two days.

So the bottom line is that on Day 2 most of what we accomplished was in break-out sessions where we worked within small groups to see... well, to see leadership in action! We ended up with 4 groups working on projects that will hopefully be put into effect with the next short few months. Here are the projects:
1. Restoring the beautiful flower baskets throughout Monroe.
2. Building and maintaining a community website for the South Benton area.
3. The South Benton Library Project!
4. Starting a Farmers Market that would include the selling of staple food products so that travel to and from the "big" neighboring cities would be kept at a low roar.

I can tell you that I know that the flower baskets group is headed in the right direction and we will have beautiful color in the next few months as we drive through town. I can also tell you that the community website is happening. Kathy Conn and myself approached the Monroe City Council to see if they would support us in this endeavor. They said that they would definitely like to see it happen and that there was already someone working toward it. So, I've emailed that other person and our group will be meeting soon to put our plan into action. Of course the South Benton Library Project was already underway; but most of what we learned at Leadership in Action was so applicable to what is going on right now in our Library Group! And finally, the Farmer's Market idea was put on hold because it seemed like this idea needed a full year to plan so that farmers in our area would have a chance to plan ahead on what they would like to plant that would sell good in a market in our area.

So, that's about it! I am really excited to be able to work on two of these projects. Having a community website will help our local government, our local businesses, our schools, our library and would become a place for visitors to our area to find out what we have to offer! And of course, the SBLP part is a natural to me! If you get me started on how soon and why we need an bigger library here in South Benton we would have to sit down for a full pot of tea!

See you at the library!