Monroe library sponsors wine and cheese tasting on Nov. 4

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:58

MONROE-On Friday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m., the Monroe Free Library is offering a wine and cheese tasting, sponsored by Monroe’s Star Liquors, to provide the community with a chance to visit the library, ask questions and find out more about the library’s upcoming budget referendum on election day, Nov. 8. The cost is $3 per person or $5 per couple. “Where else in Monroe can you have such an informative and entertaining evening while learning about wine from an expert at such a reasonable cost?” said the library’s assistant director, Suzanne W. Skeels. As a prelude to the Nov. 4 event, the library staff provided a preview of what’s ahead. “Each year, as we plan for next year’s budget, the staff tries to single out what added services will be offered to the community and what increased costs will be incurred,” said Marilyn McIntosh, director of the Monroe Free Library. “Three areas immediately came to mind this time: services for our seniors, programming for our teens and repairs to our aging building. “The Monroe Free Library strives to serve the whole community, but we are particularly the best buy in town for our seniors on a fixed income,” McIntosh added. “With our wide selection, there is no need to buy books, magazines and newspapers. Borrowing them is a major savings. Our Internet service allows the users to explore the world by computer and keep up with news from their faraway family and friends.” The director also noted the library’s efforts in offering computer classes, personalize reference help and programming for seniors. Meanwhile, Rebecca Lynn, head of Young Adult Services, discussed the library’s efforts in attracting teens. She noted that through library programs, such as “Teen Read Week” (Oct. 16 through 22), “we provide a safe and positive environment for our teens.” Recalling how in the past it was hard to get participation during the school year, Lynn said the popularity of teen programs is growing, thanks in part to Teen Force, the teen advisory board that selects materials and plans programs for patrons in grades 6-12. “As teens themselves, they are the experts in finding intriguing books, CDs, DVDs and events for their peers,” Lynn said. “The group is serious about their library, even to the extent of doing some fund raising.” Lynn’s department will continue to provide new materials and add programs for this age group in the coming year, resulting in a rise in costs for this department. “Because the Town of Monroe has few resources for these young people, this is money well spent,” she said. Services for younger children also have increased, particularly on Saturdays with walk-in family storytimes and movie Saturdays. “Then there is Summer Reading, which only gets better and larger every year,” said Christina Linder, Children’s Services Assistant. “We were bursting at the seams this year and we only see usage increasing as Monroe’s child population continues to grow.” Lastly, there is the library’s physical plant. “This summer, we had our plumber in four times, and our HVAC service in working on the building,” said Skeels, the assistant director. “In winter, we are always coaxing heat out of an antique system. The oldest parts of the building are 45-years old and the most recent addition is 25-years old; all with the complaints that come with age. It is not insulated which is a liability nowadays. We have recently installed a mandated fire alarm system and are facing the cost of the fees for this service.”