Tupper celebrates National Library Week

Published 8:20 pm Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library in Brundidge continued its observance of National Library Week in April on Thursday with retired school librarian Susan Renfroe as special guest at its Brown Bag Lunch event.

Theresa Trawick, library director, said the library is the cornerstone of a community and reflects the community’s diversity.

A library partners with the school community to provide the services that are beneficial to students, teachers, the administration and the extended community, she said.
“The Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library is a proud partner with our local schools,” Trawick said, and added that, as a school librarian, Renfroe understands the importance of the relationships among the school, the public library and the community.

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Renfroe said her among her first memories are those of her mother reading to her.

“My mother read to me as a child and that’s when I began to love stories and books and understand the joy of reading,” she told her Brown Bag audience. “As young children, our mother would walk with us to the library and we would actually get lost in our own worlds among all the books.”

Renfroe said the library was a place of adventure and wonder and a place filled with surprises.

“I learned to love the library at an early age and I still love the library today,” she said.

Perhaps, it was her love of books and the comfort and joy of the library the guided Renfroe’s future, first as a third-grade teacher and then as a school librarian.

Renfroe was teaching in a public school and became keenly aware that many of the children did not have books of their own.

“Reading is most important,” she said. “In today’s world, reading is essential and I knew that, for children to learn to read and enjoy and benefit from it, it was important for them to have a book to say, ‘This is my book.’ Owning a book is a big deal.”

Renfroe made the efforts necessary to put a book in each of her students’ hands. And, she made it her goal to make sure reading was an important part of their lives.

“Reading was DEAR to us,” she said. “We would Drop Everything And Read.”

In time, Renfroe left the classroom for the library. That was her callilng, she believed.

For 12 years, Renfroe was the librarian at Goshen Elementary School. Her goal was for her students, not to just read, but to love books and to love reading. To best ensure that would happen, Renfroe purchased books that were of special interest to the students and she often selected books with input from the students.

“If a student is interested in a subject, he or she will enjoy reading about it and will be encouraged to read more to know more and will enjoy reading more,” she said. “Studies have shown that students who read do better in school. But reading brings knowledge and enjoyment to people of all ages.”

Renfroe and Trawick said the public library is an open door to the wonder and knowledge that is stored between the covers of a book. And, the library services are available and free to all.