Blanchard Community Library: Community the keyword at open house
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: December 11, 2013
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
Blanchard Community Library was the place to be following the November 30 Christmas Parade where library Board Trustees, staff, volunteers, Friends of the Library and Children/Youth Librarian and parade Grand Marshal Ilene Gavenman welcomed hundreds of community members.
The open house included presentations on library upgrades, refreshments, musical entertainment by Xavier “Big X” Montes & Friends and the dedication of a new flagpole.
“It looks so different,” said Michelle Coulter of Santa Paula as she admired the new shelving, end caps and renovated planter, among other improvements.
“I always loved the art and doll displays,” said Coulter, “but now even they look a hundred times better!”
As usual many people took the time to admire the Chumash mural on the side of the building that fronts North 8th Street.
Part of the Murals of Santa Paula series, the wall art shows the area’s first residents amid a garden of native plants-and a creek that seems to flow from the mural-planted by American in Bloom.
As part of his Eagle Scout project Charlie Coughlin, a Scout in Troop 304, along with supporters, was able to create a new area for a flagpole now flying in the library’s south parking lot.
There was a flag raising ceremony conducted by Mercer-Prieto VFW Post #2043 with each move timed to the beat of Floyd Griffin and the audience singing “The National Anthem”.
Coughlin thanked the library, because “I would not have been able to put up this flagpole,” as well as other supporters for helping him to attain the Eagle ranking.
Scout Leader David Shaneyfelt has always been especially helpful said Coughlin, who also thanked his fellow Scouts, “Because without them there’d be no Scouts and no reason for going to the meetings!”
“Everyone knows the name Blanchard Community Library has meaning,” BCL Board Chairperson Linda Spink told the crowd, “but today the most important word is community.... without the community,” that volunteered to help in the renovation, “this would not be the library it is today.”
With such strong community support, Spink said BCL is “Growing and prospering. This is your library; become involved and support us,” including, “The best library staff in the world!”
Former Children/Youth Librarian Maureen Spencer was also on hand; Gavenman had worked 22 years for Spencer, until she retired and moved to Auburn. Gavenman always credited Spencer for being her mentor.
Gavenman, a library veteran of 36 years, told the crowd she was “So very grateful to the Optimist Club,” for selecting her as grand marshal for the 64th annual parade, this year themed “Christmas in the Library”.
Gavenman thanked many for their support, especially library patrons “For enriching my life in so many ways.... I can’t wait to see you at the library!”
During the open house, Spencer said, “I know how Ilene is and she’ll try to say I taught her everything she knows, but she was always wonderful all on her own!”
Spink said she was pleased at the strong turnout at the open house to see the improvements, “Due to our community, all those individuals and groups and businesses that stepped up.
“It is the community library and the community has pulled together to support the library”