Dear Friends of the Library,
Our fall newsletter suggests a rewarding fall project, profiles a Foundation board member, offers two great books to read, and describes characteristics of highly effective Friends groups.
Tips for Creating and Organizing a Home Library
By Vicki Urquhart
Although spring is the season we think of when it comes to cleaning out and organizing our closets, offices, and home storage areas, fall is equally good for such projects—particularly for book lovers who may have accumulated piles of books over the summer months. Whether you want to find more space for storing your favorites or it is time to take that next step and create your very own personal library, here are some tips.
Begin by gathering your existing collection from rooms around your home, making sure to check nightstands and coffee table drawers as well as the shelves you already have. This is the perfect time to cull some books to donate or set them aside for when the Friends & Foundation sends out a request for slightly used books.
If you know you will need some storage solutions, invest time looking at your options to determine how much you will spend. Should your shelving be functional, look great, or both? Also, consider building some shelves yourself or repurposing something you already have.
2. Choosing and designing your space
Once you know how many books you have, how much space you need, and how much you want to invest, decide where to locate your library. Consider whether you need a small wall-mounted shelf in a bedroom nook, an entire wall in a family room, or a mobile shelf unit in a home office. Remember this practical advice: put books where you will see and use them.
Next, select your organization method--alphabetize by author, sort by genre, arrange by size? If you like an organized look, you might group similar books into sections and sub-sections or use a cataloging service, such as Libib or Library Thing. If you prefer a more relaxed style, you might group books according to colors, removing jackets or not—it’s your preference.
This small home library is warm and inviting.
3. Adding final touches
You will want comfortable seating nearby. A cozy chair or sofa is ideal and will make a small home library feel warm and welcoming.
Use a variety of light sources, such as floor lamps, table lamps, or even string lights.
Find places on the shelves to tuck favorite collectibles, photos, artwork, or plants.
See these steps in action: How to Organize a Bookshelf - YouTube
More internet resources: mentalfloss.com, the spruce.com, bookriot.com, bonafidebookworm.com
Board Member Profile
Nurturing our library’s growth
People often describe Jenny Whittington as outgoing, and they would be right. Jenny, a natural communicator, loves to laugh and admits to sometimes relying on sarcasm to get her point across. But it is her positivity that emanates from the frequent e-mail reminders she sends out to the membership that is most compelling. Although Jenny has lived in Windsor for 19 years, she grew up in LaPorte, Colorado, surrounded by family and books. Her mom, a prolific reader, maintained a vast home library, while her dad, also a reader, built the bookshelves that were in every room in the house. Reading naturally became one of her hobbies, along with gardening.
Jenny graduated from Colorado State University (CSU) with a degree in biology and began her first job as a veterinary technician. Soon thereafter, she and husband Ian decided to start their family, and they quickly had three children. In her new status as a young mom, she had a unique and desirable perspective. When she was invited to sit on the library’s strategic planning committee, she readily accepted. One of her next volunteer activities was with the library’s “Yes to Our Library” ballot initiative. Later, she helped with the “Let’s Grow Together” drive, a campaign for better library services.
Jenny’s pumpkin tepee shows off her gardening prowess.
For Jenny, each new challenge was an opportunity for personal growth. A shining moment came during the Innovation Night that she and others had organized for author William Kamkwamba. That evening, families poured into Windsor High School to visit the many booths that had been set up outside the auditorium and stayedto hear him speak. The event was hugely successful and cemented Jenny’s belief that, “libraries are an anchor in the community.”
Jenny chats with the 2023 Clearview Reads guest speaker, Nina Kunze, author of “Anna Wolfrom Dove and The Wigwam Tea Room”.
Today, Jenny is nearing completion of a master’s degree in science and nutrition from CSU. Once completed, she plans to conduct research. In the meantime, she continues to energize the foundation membership. In her words, “Every library needs a fan club.” Her desire is that the Clearview Library District will thrive well into the future. To that end, Jenny tells herself every day, “Don’t worry so much; people will be there for you.” That is one thing her service to the library has shown her time and again.
Meetings on library land sale offer
The Clearview Library Board of Directors continued to discuss some of the options the town has offered. Thanks go out to the many library supporters and Friends who have attended the ongoing meetings and voiced their support for the library.
During October, the Friends collected used books and held a “Wrap and Chat” event on October 29th, where volunteers readied the various donations—from classics to holiday stories—to sell during the holiday season.
Foundation Board members Joann and ToniRae prep books for the Blind Date with a Book fundraiser; Deb, a volunteer, helps as well.
Volunteers wrapping books for the Fundraiser.
Beautifully wrapped books for the Blind Date with a Book Fundraiser all ready to go!
The Friends & Foundation held its annual membership party at the library on Nov. 3. In addition to pie, wine, and coffee for everyone to enjoy, Pat Weakland from Windsor's Heart Distillery hosted a talk on whiskey tasting. Look for a recap of the event with pictures in the January newsletter.
Watch for. . .
Blind Date with a Book” $10 packages on sale now and throughout December.
Looking for a quick holiday gift for your book-loving friends or kids? Stop by the Friends used book corner at the library. Each package contains a gently used book with a teaser description written on the wrapping. Money raised goes to support our library.
Colorado Gives Day is December 5. This is one of the biggest opportunities to show support for non-profits throughout Colorado, and the Friends & Foundation participates. Early giving opened November 1. Please keep us in mind when making your donations.
Mark your calendars for another Clearview Reads Author Talk coming in April 2024! We will be welcoming Sarah Penner, author of The Lost Apothecary and The Seance Society Club.
Two Favorite Books
The Art Thief: A True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession by Michael Finkel
By Barbara Jones
This is the story of Stéphane Breitwieser—the most prolific art robber in history. From 1994 to 2001, Breitwieser stole over 300 works of art from museums and churches in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. In broad daylight. During visiting hours. And he did not have a profit motive; he never sold a thing. He considered himself a liberator of imprisoned art, and the pieces he stole were for his own aesthetic pleasure.
Breitwieser had an encyclopedic knowledge of art from his extensive research and an exceptional ability to assess and evaluate security systems. With his girlfriend as a lookout, the brazen thefts sound almost effortless, which speaks to security system flaws as well as people’s weak observational skills. But this book is about more than Breitwieser’s acquisitions. Finkel explores the relationships between Breitwieser and his parents, as well as with his girlfriend, his obsessive personality, and the ultimate consequences of the thefts for the people involved and the artworks themselves. He poses questions about public access to art, offers art history education through photographs of the stolen pieces, and explains the investigative challenges law enforcement faces. All this in a book that reads like a novel.
Michael Finkel seems drawn to people with complex personalities who fall outside of societal norms as his previous book, The Stranger in the Woods, also profiles such a person. The Art Thief is the result of more than 10 years of intermittent work as Finkel pursued access to information and conducted interviews with the people involved. As a result, we can read this hard-to-believe story and think about it the next time we go to a museum!
The Art Thief is available as a book, e-book, and audiobook at our library.
Seed to Dust: Life, Nature, and a Country Garden by Marc Hamer
By a Friend of the library
Much like I find it difficult to name my favorite color or cake flavor, I find it nearly impossible to select just one favorite book. My whims vary according to the weather and the seasons, directly correlated to the fading and growing light and warmth. It is autumn, and with the colors of deep rust and rich brown come the flavors of carrot cake (with cream cheese icing) along with tea. During this season, as I age another year, I am pulled to reread Seed to Dust by Marc Hamer.
Seed to Dust offers a delightful and mindful wander among the plants (and our lives) from January to December. Taken on face value, the book seems simply an exploration of gardening throughout the year, but the reader quickly realizes that this is a metaphor for life, aging, and living. As the leaves fall and decay, the earth readies for sleep, and as I complete another turn around the sun, this book calms my mind and reminds me of the deep value of living and of each part of life.
Highly Effective Friends Groups
Did you know that library Friends groups have been around for over 100 years*? Of course, groups vary in size, are organized differently, and engage in a wide range of activities. Even so, they share a common goal to help their local library thrive. According to Library Strategies Consulting, here are some best practices exhibited by successful Friends Groups and how the Friends & Foundation achieves them:
1. Purpose—A purposeful Friends group has a mission and engages in activities that support it. Our Foundation's mission is to "Raise funds and award grants for library programs and special projects that will have a greater impact on our community."
2. Collaboration with the library—Our Board of Trustees Liaison is Rochell Brotsky. She regularly attends the Friends Board of Directors meetings to share news from the library board and to take news back to the trustees.
3. Recruitment and term limits—We reach out to people of all ages and backgrounds from across the community to serve on the board. New members are expected to serve a term of three years, as stated in our by-laws.
4. Planning—Our board of directors sets goals for each activity throughout the year and
designates individuals to follow through with the plan.
5. Effective meetings—During meetings, our board works on specific activities, reports on the progress of those activities, and/or discusses related issues.
Having fun is also key for effective Friends groups. With a mix of personalities, interests, and strengths, our board members seem to be enjoying themselves!
Did You Know. . .
The library’s Explore Kits collection contains dozens of kits ranging from Colorado State Parks Passes with accompanying binoculars and brochures, to a pasta machine that rolls and cuts dough for traditional lasagna and fettuccine. These and many more items are available for checkout.
Newsletter design and layout by ToniRae Andres
* “9 Friends Group Best Practices”. Library Strategies. February 8, 2016. https://www.librarystrategiesconsulting.org