Adam Madison, The Triplicate

Thanks to four dedicated volunteers, Klamath Library is still open for business.

Four years ago it was thought that the Crescent City facility would open the library as a branch. But a proposed tax to fund it was voted down, according to Mary Joy Wormsbaker, chief volunteer librarian.

Staff of four

Her staff consists of Renee Fitzgerald, Judy Morris, Randy Esler and Vera Byrd.

Byrd will spend Saturdays reading children's stories to local kids who visit the library on that day.

"We were able to open up about two years ago," explained Wormsbaker, "and have had several organized reading projects visit us, thanks to Kelly Nolan. We also have been blessed with gifts from both the Crescent City Women's Club and and Crescent City Emblem Club. Also, many individuals have donated lots of novels and videotapes. We are hopeful of plans to work locally with schools."

More books needed

The library does need more books, however. Non-fiction works, especially those of local interest, reference works that are up-to-date, children classics such as "Black Beauty," "Tom Sawyer" and the like, would really be welcome.

To date, the fledgling library has two old sets of encyclopedias and one Book of Knowledge. There is a gap in material for adults and older teens. A good dictionary might also come in handy, says the librarian.

The library is in Klamath Community Center, 219 Salmon Ave., just off Highway 101.

Familiar name

By the way, if Mary Joy Wormsbaker's name sounds familiar among book lovers, it's because for years she has been the prime mover in this area behind providing Braille copies of books for sight-impaired readers of all ages.

Working with the community at large and the Crescent City Emblem Club, she is the link between Del Norte County and the American Action Fund for Blind Children and adults' Twin Vision Project.

You can reach her at 482-8815 for further information on any of this.

Importance of volunteers

Del Norte County has three public libraries at present. The main library in Crescent City has a branch in Smith River, which is run primarily by volunteers. In fact, without a volunteer staff, none of these facilities could operate.

Libraries and the materials they make available to the public affect all aspects of community life, not just those folks who actually use them. Supporting the library of your choice, and, yes, checking up on what they offer, is something we all can do.

Ann Terrill Garlick is a veteran, award-winning journalist and a native Californian. She spent nearly 23 years as one of the editors at the Orange County Register.