Each week, the O’Fallon Weekly, a supporter of the O’Fallon Public Library publishes a column written by one of the library staff members. Ryan Johnson, OFPL Director, shares what he is thankful for.

Life got busy and I failed to properly “Be Thankful” publicly in the lead-up to Thanksgiving. Allow me today to express that thankfulness in the lead-up to Christmas and the New Year.

We have so much to be thankful for here at the O’Fallon Public Library. First off, we have you, our patrons. You’ve hung with us through mask mandates, virtual and outdoor programming, and a myriad of other adjustments we’ve had to make this year due to the lingering impact of COVID.

We are also so very thankful for our Friends of the Library group. This group of dedicated
volunteers organized and executed our first book sale that we’ve had since the pandemic started. In a five-day period, they put in nearly 400 hours of volunteer service and raised over $6,500. This money helps the library go above and beyond what our normal operating budget can account for. Some projects they’ve funded over the last year include a fleet of Launchpad learning tablets for kids, a slat wall display upstairs, as well as our “library of things” display, also upstairs. If you haven’t checked that out yet, make a point to. We have telescopes, binoculars, board games, LCD projectors, and much more.

Getting back to that book sale, we had approximately 1,000 extra people come through our doors during that event. If you were one of them, thank you! I had the pleasure of chatting with a number of folks during that sale. One lady I spoke with had a great story to tell. She was probably in her late 60s and spoke about how every time she and her family would get deployed to a new base, she had three things she did right off the bat. Number one, find a hairdresser. Number two, hang the curtains. Number three, find the library.

Lastly, I am so very thankful for our staff. The last year-plus has been hard on anyone working with the public. The folks here have taken in stride. It seems so many other places are having a hard time finding workers, which makes me even more grateful that, as of this writing, we are fully staffed.

So, allow me to say Happy (Late) Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year from all of us at the O’Fallon Public Library!

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