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Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, November 18, 2020


It's been 110 years since alibrary was open in Ellston. On Monday, November 22 that statistic changes.

After nearly three years of road blocks, naysayers and colition building the Ellston Community Library will begin serving residents of the northeast Ringgold County when it opens its "doors" in the community room of the Ellston United Methodist Church.

"A few of us started talking about this approximately three years ago," laughs Ardis GLACE, one of the committee members. "It was just a dream. But as people learned of the project I started receiving offers of help, books and even money."

Another original library lover, Nan DERSCHIED, claims this past summer's Cash for Clunkers funder-raiser got the group even more motivated.

"When we saw all ofthe support for opening a local library we knew we had to keep oving it forward," DERSCHEID said. "WHile our initial intent was to help the new American Legion building reach completion and use a small space in their building, the number of books, volunteers and programming ideas grew so rapidly that our plans had to change."

Instead of opening in a section of the American Legion building, the library will open in the community room of the Ellston United Methodist Church (EUMC).

Maurice JONES, chairman of the EUMC board, says the library is a welcome addition to the community and the church. The facility has the space available for the library to expand, offer computer classes, host local book groups as well as other related efforts.

Plus, thanks to a sizeable "matching" donation from a local resident, the group was able to purchase bookcases that can expand with the need.

For months the co-chairs of the library committee, Sharon THALMAN and Judy GREEN, as well as volunteers from Ellston, Sun Valley Lake, and two area book clubs have been hauling, cataloging, sorting and stacking books while preparing for the opening.

According to both THALMAN and GREEn, they are already seeing the benefits of a community library. In addition to the collaboration of volunteers from Tingley, Ellston, thelocal rural area and Sun Valley Lake, there are other plusses. Young people, adolescents and adults alike are excited about utilizing this resource.

"We still have a great deal to do and a lot of money to raise," says GLACE, "but I'm confident in our community. We've even gotten on the radar screen of the newly formed Jimmy BUFFET Sun Valley Parrot Head Club. They are exploring ideas to raise money for the library's wireless internet and computers, and have launched a book donation drive."

In addition, the Parrot Head Club has donated a website and a year of site hosting for the new library. "They have been incredible," GLACE said.

Currently the Ellston Community Library has more than 1,800 fiction books; 800 non-fiction and reference books; hundreds of children's, spiritualand religious books, plus audio books and videos to loan.

The library will loan books to everyone in northeast Ringgold County, including Union, Tingley and Monroe Townships.

The library opens Monday, November 22 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. After the Thanksgiving holiday, hours for the library are Mondays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Wednesdays 3 to 7 p.m.; and Saturdays9 a.m. to noon.

People from northeast Ringgold County can watch for developments on the "evolving" new website or drop by when the community-based library is open.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, December of 2010

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