The library and the book guild celebrate their 85th anniversary

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Which came first…Woodville Public Library or The Book Guild? Both were created in 1937, which means they both celebrated their 85th anniversary this year. According to the notes I found hidden in a closet, Book Guild is only a few months older.

The library began as the dream of a group of seven women who wanted to provide reading materials to the community of Woodville. In 1936, a committee was appointed to contact the Birchard Public Library in Fremont as a possible source for obtaining books. Birchard agreed to provide services to Woodville through the government’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) program and Woodville’s first library was established in 1937. This first library was so small it fit on a table in the back from Ken’s furniture store.

While this project was underway, this group of women decided on a name and “The Book Guild” was officially founded in 1937 and has been active in the community ever since.

Over the years, the library has changed address several times. When it was determined that there was a need for a real library, it moved in 1940 from the furniture store to a former doctor’s office a few blocks from Main Street. After World War II, the library had outgrown this location and moved again, this time to the building that now houses the Woodville Historical Society. Two decades later, the library made a final move to the nearby building where it has remained ever since, at the corner of Main and Walnut streets.

Through all the growing pains and address changes, the one constant has been the support provided by The Book Guild. Members held annual dig sales beginning in 1951 to raise money for various projects, including paying $5,000 towards the $50,000 purchase price of the library-museum complex in 1969. Over the years , the guild has helped both financially and with womanpower on a variety of projects including adding a kitchen, contracting and installing a trompe l’oeil painting in the children’s bedroom , creating an annual scholarship for Woodmore graduates, and decorating the library for Christmas each year.

The trompe l'oeil painting in the children's room of the Woodville Public Library was contracted and installed by the Book Guild.

Although the seven ladies who founded The Book Guild are no longer with us, the group is still going strong today. There are currently 21 members, including two ladies who have been members for almost 60 years. These members pursue the guild’s original purpose of “fostering literary activity in the community and promoting the public library.”

The Book Guild meets on the fourth Thursday of the month, from September to May, with the exception of public holidays. Meetings can include a guest speaker, book discussion, craft or game night, or the occasional field trip to a local business.

The first Book Guild meeting of the 2022-23 season will be a “meet and greet” at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday, September 22, at the large gazebo at the west end of Trail Marker Park. Members will share their favorite summer reads and do some catching up.

This year’s meeting schedule is available on the library’s website at www.birchard.org/guild. For more information on becoming a member, please call the library at 419-849-2744. Membership dues are $5 per year.

Solomon BBQ Chicken

Solomon Lutheran School is hosting a Chicken BBQ from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 25. Tickets are $13 each with dine-in or take-out options. There are only a limited number of tickets left, which can be purchased in advance at the school office. For more information, please contact the school at 419-849-3600.

Pantry

The Woodville Good Samaritan Council, which runs our food pantry, has recently been contacted by more people than usual for help. Rising costs for food and other items are affecting the pantry’s ability to help, so they are appealing to the community for help stocking the shelves.

This month, the pantry needs the following items: canned fruits and vegetables, tomato sauce, kidney beans, pork and beans, peanut butter, cake and brownie mixes, tuna, instant potatoes, cereals and snacks. Donations can be dropped off at the Woodville Police Department, Woodville Public Library, Solomon Lutheran Church, or Woodville United Methodist Church. Cash donations can be deposited at the Fremont Federal Credit Union.

For more information, please contact Alice at 419-849-3001.

Fall Storytime

The Woodville Library offers two storytime options through October: 7 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Thursday. Storytimes include a simple craft and an occasional snack. No registration is required.

Contact René Dix at 419-307-0914 or by email at [email protected].


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