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'Love Your Library' group announces writing contest

By Debbie Gardner

PRIME Editor

HAMPDEN Apparently, there's still plenty of love in town for the still-closed Hampden Public Library.

Newly elected co-president of the Friends of Hampden Free Public Library Cynthia Bailey told Reminder Publications that there was a "good turnout of members and interested residents" for the organization's first "Love Your Library" meeting on Oct. 12.

She also said that, following the meeting, several people "stepped forward to join the leadership team and coordinate efforts to support the Friend's mission."

At the meeting the following people, who had previously volunteered for positions, were formally accepted to fill those rolls: Susan Bellows as advisor to the board and meeting moderator; Jan Kibbee as chair of members' communication, Barbara Stoll as chair of children's programming and Beth Burger as liaison from the Library Trustees.

In addition, outgoing Friends president, Ann Condon, and vice-president, Caryn Greco, were thanked by the membership for their work, and Bailey and Patty Ehlers were formally elected to fill the role of co-presidents of the Friends of the Hampden Library.

The group also established the second Wednesday of every month as their meeting date. Meetings will take place at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall.

Ambitious agenda set

Bailey said Barbara Stoll put forth plans to host a children's holiday party with crafts and a visit from Santa on Dec. 10.

Volunteers are needed to help with this event.

Dec. 10 will also be the date for that month's town-wide book swap.

In addition, she said Stoll proposed a five-week summer reading program for children, which will include entertainment and craft activities.

In February, which is Love Your Library month, the Friends are proposing a special program with a performance by mime Robert Rivest.

Then, Friends are also planning fund-raising events to support their slate of programming, provide new materials for the library when it re-opens and establish long-term funding for the Hampden Library.

Sherry Himmlestein presented a proposal to coordinate a major fund-raising effort in collaboration with efforts to re-open the Hampden Senior Center.

Pen your love, win a prize!

The Friends of the Hampden Free Public Library announced they are launching a "Love Your Library' poetry/prose contest for students in grades 1-12, and adults.

Prizes will be awarded by age categories, with students receiving $50 savings bonds and the adult winner receiving a $50 dinner gift certificate.

All entries must be typed and the deadline for submissions is Dec. 31, with winners to be announced at the Love Your Library Dinner planned for February, 2006.

Send entries to Hampden Community Book Swap, P.O. Box 388, Hampden, MA 01036

Children's books needed

Bailey said books for readers in grades 1-12 are needed for the Town Book Swap. A collection box will be set up at the Hampden Hardware Store. People may also contact Patty Ehlers at 237-7061.

The featured reader for the children's program at the Nov. 10 Book Swap will be Naturalist Kevin Kopchyski from Laughing Brook Wildelife Sanctuary. Time for the Book Swap will be 10 a.m.