Shaw Public Library in Greenville rocks!

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GREENVILLE — Shaw Public Library in Greenville has been through some remarkable changes in the last five years. It has doubled its available space with the addition of a house adjacent to the original structure and become an invaluable destination for anyone looking to be enriched, entertained and enhanced by new learning experiences. It’s a delightful journey through this library from the Book Barn, where books are donated and shared, to the adult books and information in the original building.

P.J. Tinto, Children’s Librarian, has been at Shaw Public Library for nearly 25 years, and usually presides over the brightly decorated and welcoming children’s section. She took the time to give this reporter a tour from the tot section to the more grown up. “We’ve got everything organized in a natural flow,” she said. “It’s a nice progression throughout.”

Every nook, cranny and room offers something special, something different. And, even outside there’s more to learn – it actually has three thriving beehives! It’s complete with a honeybee garden carefully planted by the local 4-H Blueberries, the youngest group in that venerable organization. And inside, there are books about bees, and even a beekeepers outfit complete with netted hat and smoker to lull the bees. “The kids get a big kick out of trying this on,” Tinto remarked, showing me the white coveralls and hat. “And last year we harvested 56 ounces of our own honey!”

Shaw Public Library in Greenville

The Shaw Public Library in Greenville

Tinto pointed to good-sized baskets filled with books and other information scattered about. “This is one of the new things libraries are doing,” she explained. “These are Subject Baskets, and what we do is fill them with information about the same subject – it makes it so much quicker for parents and kids than having to look through stacks and stacks of material trying to research a subject.” She showed me a collection of books celebrating and encouraging kindness. “This is an example of the little subtle things we do to make this place even better,” she smiled.

She ushered me into another space, an open room with a table center stage. Boxes of Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys puzzles and the like were available on the surrounding shelves. “Originally we just made places to play but now we give these special areas names,” Tinto said.

“This is the Maker’s Space,” said Linda Wohlforth, Director, who joined us on our little tour. “Many times you come by and find that somebody has built something really amazing,” she smiled.

I asked about the backpacks hung in the children’s and young adult section. “We also have Story Time in a bag,” Wohlforth said. “You borrow the whole bag and each bag is filled with information about a certain subject — we got that funding as a grant from the Rose and Samuel Rudman Library Trust Fund.” The theme for the Shaw Public Library this year was Libraries Rock! Wohlforth explained, adding that “NREC (Natural Resource Educational Center) and their L’il Explorers Program provided the following programs to the library from the L.C. Bates Museum: Rocks and Minerals; Native Americans; and Fossils.”

“Sometimes I have to act like a grownup,” laughed Tinto as we turned a corner and entered the computer room, which has the perfect light and is well furnished with PCs. “We help the Mac users get used to PCs if they would like. Once you get ‘em going they’re fine; I know it can be totally confusing,” she said.

“We have our own routers, which stay on all the time,” said Wohlforth. “People can park outside the library and access our service.”

As we walked down the long corridor between buildings, lined with books on tape, as well as movies, TV series and documentary DVDs, Tinto noted that they have over 1,000 DVDs, all in sections from kids to the newer releases.

In addition, during the summer months, Shaw Public Library offers programs with guest speakers. “We’ve had some marvelous programs this summer, and they were very well attended,” Wohlforth observed. “During winter months, things quiet a bit but book club meets monthly and this fall we will be welcoming author Stephen Maines.”

Maines, a photographer and former Greenville resident, has authored a new book, Dancing with Spirit, Reflections from the Mirror of Life, and will be visiting the library in October.

The Shaw Public Library stands at the ready to help Greenville children and families unlock the world of books, explore in depth subjects that interest them and enhance their homework requirements. The library staff is known for their helpfulness in that regard. Stop in and see all the new and exciting things they are offering – it’s educational, entertaining and thoroughly worth the time. They are open Tuesday through Saturday. Call for information about Stephen Maine’s visit or about the hours: 207-695-3579. Shaw Public Library rocks!

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