Peninsula Community Library Christmas Tree on the Old Mission Peninsula
Christmas Tree at Peninsula Community Library | Jane Boursaw Photo
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While you may or may not have heard of it, every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people take the time to kick off the holiday season by giving back to their community. Whether it is donating money to a community entity or volunteering, Giving Tuesday is a day set to recognize what we hold dear.

Peninsula Community Library‘s Annual Appeal letter went out via snail mail on Nov. 15. I want to thank all of you across our library family who have given or are planning to give. Please know you make a difference.

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At the end of last fiscal year, our little library held a collection of more than 18,000 items and checked out 15,000. A total of 18,774 people visited the library. PCL staff answered 2267 reference questions – and yes! We do track all this!

Through the Library of Michigan’s MeLCat program, 5500 items were loaned to other libraries around the state and FROM other libraries, we borrowed 3500 items for our own patrons. More than 3000 people participated in 150 activities and programs – in a year where a pandemic limited programming and at times restricted hours to curbside only. This fiscal year to date, we have given out more than 1800 of those oh-so-popular craft bags!

All of this was managed on a budget – in a new building – of under $280,000 with a fulltime staff equivalent of only 2.63! Peninsula Community Library is the HEART OF OUR COMMUNITY thanks to you! YOU are family! Thanks for all you do for PCL! I have included a copy of the annual appeal letter at the bottom of this story, in case we missed you!

Program Changes at the Library

Due to the surge in Covid, we have made some slight changes to the schedule of programs in our recent newsletter. BEJEWELED, the ornament making class for adults on December 7, still requires an RSVP, but will run as a DIY craft in the library from 10-4. Masks are required for attendance at programs. Story Stew will not be held as an in-library program this month or in January. However, takeout Story Bags geared toward preschoolers will be available the second and fourth weeks of the month. Regular craft bags are also available the first and third weeks for kids and second week for adults. Note that there is no Local History Talk in December.

Letters to Santa will be accepted in the Children’s Area now through December 18. Your kiddos are welcome to use the stationary provided by Santa’s mailbox in the library or bring one from home. Parents must pre-address an envelope to their child in order for the jolly old elf to respond. Crafts are always available in-house for kids in the Children’s Area. Come in this week to make a paper dreidel! Next week, we have beaded candy cane ornaments!

Our Men’s Group is growing, and they invite the men of our community to attend the third Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. for speaker programs of interest in our community. Email me, [email protected], to have your name added for notifications.

Winter is Coming; Book Sale Donations

As the weather changes, please be aware that if TCAPS closes due to weather, PCL is also closed. Our parking lot is often slippery on those days, so if you are using the outside dropbox, please be careful!

The Friends of Peninsula Community Library are once again accepting donations (for their annual book sale during the warmer months) on the first and third Mondays of the month from 4-6 p.m. at the Carriage House door. Please have your items in small or medium-sized boxes in your trunk so volunteers can assist in getting them in.

We cannot accept Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, encyclopedias, magazines (including National Geographic), VHS tapes, textbooks, outdated technology manuals, outdated medical information, items that are dirty, moldy, water damaged or have excessive markings or highlighting. Ask yourself, “Would I buy it?” Small donations of one small box of items in good condition will be accepted anytime at the library’s front desk if you are unable to donate at the given time.

As we enter a season of many celebrations across cultures, religions and family traditions, I wish you the joy of preparation and anticipation. Do take time for yourself with a book, a movie, or a quiet moment by our fireplace in the library! We hope to see you soon!

PCL Annual Appeal Letter – Nov. 15, 2021

An African proverb teaches, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” How true that is at Peninsula Community Library. Community built our new library. When life turned upside down in a pandemic, we were still here for each other.

It has been a hybrid year. Doors were closed. Doors were open. New services evolved and are still with us because you love them! Curbside pickup, virtual alongside in person programming, 24/7 Wi-Fi, takeout craft bags. Oh, those craft bags! It started with a toilet paper pumpkin and took off from there. This year to date we have given out 1800 bags – from cake kits to wine bottle lights to wreaths to kites. And whatever “normal” is, we have returned to much of that, too.

Jane Boursaw of Old Mission Gazette shares, “Peninsula Community Library has been a cherished part of my life since the day I was born 61 years ago! My mom, Mary Johnson, volunteered at the library during our school years at OMPS, but was also part of the visionary board that purchased the land on which the new library sits. She always said she wanted to see it built before she died. I’m so glad that dream came true. Thank you to everyone involved in our library’s legacy through the years, and to everyone who ensures that it will always be the heart of our OMP community.”

7th and 11th graders Emily and Lauren Stuart have grown up here! They write, “PCL is more than just a library. It is a welcoming place in our community. As you walk through those doors, the staff, or family as we like to call them, have created an environment that feels more like home. As students we want to hang out at our local library – whether it is making one of their awesome crafts, kicking back with a good book or volunteering at events. Peninsula Community Library is the place to be!”

Patron Shelley Cowan says, “After a move to a rural area, the physical signs that you live in a community can be harder to spot. When I moved to OMP, I started running into people I’d met at Peninsula Community Library. For me, there’s nothing like fellow book lovers to let you know you are home!”

What makes us a community library? You do! A patron noticing the tall grass along the road, came back to trim it. Volunteers weed our gardens, shelve books and prepare crafts. The Friends of PCL support us in so many ways! A library without people is just a warehouse. You make us a library. We are there for you too. One patron put it eloquently, “Libraries always save me. You saved me.”

With your kind gift, Peninsula Community Library will continue to offer everything you love. As your library director, I am ever grateful for your support. Peninsula Community Library is the heart of our community thanks to all of you! YOU are family!

Warmest Regards,
Vicki Shurly, Director


A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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