Literary birthday

Blount County Public Library celebrates 5th birthday

The celebration is so special it will take a week to fit everything in. That’s the plan as the Blount County Public Library celebrates its 5th birthday next week, choosing to celebrate during National Library Week, April 15-21.

The library actually opened its doors in its new building in May, 2002, but wanted to partner the celebration of this special birthday with National Library Week. Hosting the events are the three boards of the library, the Board of Trustees, the Library Foundation and Friends of the Library.

Mixing with the fun will be some fund raising. The Friends will hold their Used Book Sale in the lower level, beginning with a "Member’s Only" day on Thursday, April 19, from noon to 6 p.m., and opening to the public on Friday and Saturday, 9
a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Other events include speakers, children’s activities, beauty and wellness demonstrations and meetings.

One very special event is the 5th Birthday Celebration Gala, hosted by the Foundation of the Blount County Public Library.

The foundation, whose president is Cathy Hammon, is older than its charge, having been formed in the years before the funds were completely in place to build the new building. Of the $14 million needed to build the new library, $4 million was raised through the efforts of the Foundation. Today the group keeps an eye out for needed improvements and additions, such as purchasing the land behind the library’s back parking lot as an investment for the future.

The Gala, chaired by Rosemary Barker, will begin with wine and hors d’ourves at Preservation Plaza, 200 E. Broadway, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21, followed by dinner at the library at 7 p.m. and a program at 8 p.m. The reception will be hosted by Kizer & Black, attorneys. The dinner will be catered by Orchard Hill. There are only 150 tickets available for the Gala, and reservations and ticket purchase should be completed by April 16. Tickets are $75 per person, and the dress is business attire.

"The plan is -- weather permitting -- to walk from Preservation Plaza to the library," said Rosemary Barker. "And perhaps to have birthday cake outside at the library."

Sponsorships of $500 and $1,000 are also available. For sponsorships or tickets, call the Foundation at 865-273-1410. The Gala program will feature a presentation by Kathy Pagles on the "Past, Present and Future" of the Blount County Public Library. The icing on the cake will be the presentation of the first Champion of the Library Award, a special recognition for above and beyond support of the library as a whole. The winner, said Barker, could be an individual, a company or a group.

In addition to recognition at the Gala, the winner will be listed on a plaque that will hang at the library. Joy Bishop, president of the Board of Trustees, will coordinate the program with Pagles.

Events scheduled during the week-long celebration include:

  • Sunday, April 15, 2 p.m., "Literacy and the Church: A Discussion of ‘The Book’ and Books," by a panel of community clergy coordinated by Jason McNeal in the Sharon Lawson Room.
  • Monday, April 16, 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., "Oak Ridge Technology Corridor - Economic Impacts for the Region" by Thomas Ballard, director of Economic Development and Partnerships for UT-Battelle, the managing contractor for ORNL. Hosted by the Blount County Chamber of Commerce in the Dorothy Herron Rooms of the library.
  • Tuesday evening, April 17, "Celebrating Diversity" Booths by 6 Girl Scout troops, coordinated by Kimberly Proffitt, in the meeting room hallway of the library.
  • Wednesday, April 18, "Looking Good - Feeling Good" coordinated by Joy Bishop in the Sharon Lawson Room:
  • 10 a.m., "Hair Styling Demonstration and Lecture," by Patsy Schmidt Love, owner, Schmidt and Designers.
  • 11 a.m., "Wellness as We Age," exercises appropriate for good health, led by Leslie Rutherford, director, Blount Memorial Wellness Center
  • 1 p.m., "Skin Care," demonstration on an audience member volunteer, by Jimmye Holloway, Licensed Aesthetician, L.M.T., owner of Natural Approach.
  • 2 p.m., "Makeup," demonstration and lecture by Yvonne Butler, owner, Merle Norman.
  • Saturday, April 21, 11 a.m. "Children’s Story Time" by area high school students, coordinated by Hardy DeYoung, in the Children’s Library Reading Pond.
  • "Used Book Sale" by Friends of the Blount County Public Library, Friday and Saturday, April 20- 21, 9 a.m..

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