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Community Library Hosts Appreciation Day

The Grover Beach Community Library hosted a Community Appreciation Day on May 4 to add County Supervisor Adam Hill to the rolls of their Mary Lee Clark award. As the story goes it was Mary who convinced her husband, Clifford Clark, to give up space in his law office for the library more than a decade ago.

Nan Fowler, owner of Nan’s Pre-Owned Books and President of the Community Library Board invited locals to the event to, “share some snacks and drinks with us, see our cozy and recently refurbished library and meet this year’s award recipient.”

The renovation, which involved removing the darkened paneling, that made lawyers feel more at home but ruined the light for readers, was made possible with discretionary funds from Hill’s District 3 County office.

“I do my best to practice good discretion,” he mused after seeing the four-room library for the first time since the changes. “I thought you’d added a window but it’s just amazing how much light there is now.”

Hill was particularly pleased to share space on the commemorative placard with Gracia Bello, the first awardee in 2013 and he received a commemorative wood burned wine box with a favorite vintage inside for the occasion.

In addition to using his office to aid the organization, Hill was a long time supporter, having taught literature at Cal Poly for 13 years.

The library is separate from the Black Gold system, which covers a tri-county area.  Rather than the government funded public libraries in Shell Beach and Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach’s has survived on community support, and proceeds from quarterly book sales.

It takes a cast of at least 20 part time volunteers to maintain the effort, said Flower, and the store room can be packed to the rafters as sales day approaches.

They’re open to the public five days per week, with an additional work day for volunteers, as well as a cleverly titled “Reading to Rover” event on Wednesdays with the laser focused and all hearing service dogs pictured here.

Grover Beach City Councilwoman Barbara Nicolls, also a member of the library’s board, explained that the library moved to the space in 2006 but has been around in concept and in different sizes for the last 15.  Many of the volunteers “cross-pollinate” working at both the county libraries and in Grover, but the space itself is indispensible as a community hub.

The library is normally open from 1-5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a,m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. They’re next to Ramona Garden Park and across the street from the Exploration Station at 240 North 9th St.

Their next book sale in the parking lot adjacent to the park is slated for July 1.

-Story and Photos by Camas Frank

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