By Stephen Smoot
“I’m little, but I’m mighty!” Outgoing Pendleton County Library director Becky McConnell smiled and delivered this statement in reference to the task of bringing large boxes of books into the storage room to ready them for book sales.
All those who enjoy the services of the library have reason to appreciate the “mighty” work of McConnell. Last week, the Friends of the Library held a small reception to honor her service and to show their appreciation.
Members of the Friends gave presents, such as a mug with a floral pattern that reads “Best Librarian Ever.” Many shared personal words of thanks and appreciation. All enjoyed refreshments that included a large (and delicious) homemade cake, along with cheese and crackers, fruit, and sliced vegetables and dip.
Madeline Hoover, president of the board for the Friends of the Library, presented McConnell with a gift from the group. “We are proud,” she said, “to give you an honorary lifetime membership.”
A welcome surprise showed just before the reception in the persons of Becky and Jay Puffenbarger, who recently moved in February from Prince George’s County, Maryland. They introduced themselves during the business meeting that prefaced the reception, volunteering to help the Friends with their work during the Treasure Mountain Festival.
They explained that they had owned a bookstore that “sold a lot of books.” After asking questions about membership, Hoover explained, “You will find out that we are very laid back.”
During the business meeting, the group discussed plans for the fall History Alive presentation. In July, they decided to reach out to historical players portraying Sacagawea, Pocahontas, Harriet Tubman, and jazz great Bessie Taylor. Doris Fields of Beckley, who portrays Taylor, responded favorably and the group decided to go with her.
They then set the tentative date for the event as Oct. 29 with the time “to be announced.”
With Treasure Mountain Festival coming up and serving as a major fundraiser, the Friends discussed planning for the event. Hoover requested that all who can commit to helping with the book sale to do so by the next meeting on Sept. 5. When asked about volunteering, Hoover responded with “we do need the help.”
They need help setting up on Monday, starting on Tuesday, setting up tables, moving books, and putting everything back in order at the end. The annual TMF book sale days and hours will be from noon to 4 on Thursday, 10 to five on Friday from 10 to five, 10 to 5 on Saturday and from noon to 4 on Sunday.
McConnell also provided a brief report on the library’s summer reading program, noting that approximately 200 children took part in some fashion. She also shared that numbers of participants had returned to pre-COVID levels.