Ex Libris reading program celebrates 5th anniversary

Barbara Zurl reads to MTCC residents.

Barbara Zurl reads to MTCC residents.

Ex Libris members Janetta Baker, Suzanne Ensslin and Barbara Zurl pose together.

Ex Libris members Janetta Baker, Suzanne Ensslin and Barbara Zurl pose together.

MTCC Activities Director Alison Garner and resident Helen Atchley head to an Ex Libris program.

MTCC Activities Director Alison Garner and resident Helen Atchley head to an Ex Libris program.

In February, residents and staff at Morningview Transitional Care Center in Maryville came together to share refreshments, stories, songs, poems, jokes and trivia in celebration of the five-year anniversary of the Ex Libris Reading Program, formerly named Book Club.

The Ex Libris Library Extension Program was created to provide readers for the residents of Morningview Transitional Care Center, a need pointed out by MTCC’s Activities Director, Alison Garner.

Barbara Zurl, an officer and member of the Blount County Friends of the Library, responded to Garner’s request, and the first of 108 reading sessions took place on Feb. 6, 2004. Since that time, 697 people have attended the events.

Ex Libris has grown from one person reading once a month at one facility to a team of four talented, dedicated and passionate readers bringing the richness of the library to non-mobile members of the community. The four venues currently served within Blount County are Wellington Assisted Living, Liberty Assisted Living, Asbury Place TCC, and Morningview TCC.

Residents are invited to spend about an hour listening to stories, articles, poems, recollections and personal anecdotes, jokes and occasionally songs.

Readers Linda Arnold, Janetta Baker, Suzanne Ensslin and Barbara Zurl agree that the best part of the program is the interchange with residents, from whom they learn much more than they feel they can ever bring them from the library.

Anyone wishing to learn more about this community outreach program or to observe a session is invited to contact Coordinator Barbara Zurl at 865-977-5034 or badger630@aol.com.

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