Twenty Plus Two In 2022

With Jewels & Jeans, Meridian Public Library celebrates its 20th anniversary and “Cheers” to another 20 years

MERIDIAN – Like a lot of fundraisers in 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings threw a wrench in the activities. Not only did civic organizations miss out on important funding, they missed out on celebrating important milestones.

The Meridian Public Library intended to celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2020, but had to postpone not one, but two years because of the pandemic. But last Saturday, it was finally party time for the 20th Annual Jewels & Jeans at the fully-packed, tastefully-decorated Meridian Civic Center to celebrate the library, its volunteers, board members, some founding members, patrons and supporters and to raise funds for the library’s daily operations.

From the wine and beer bar, the huge charcuterie board, the beautiful decorations, the tasty meal and the massive birthday cake, everything exuded a happy, celebratory event themed “Cheers For 20+2 Years.”

“What a fun evening it was, seeing faces from the library’s past as well as the present gather to celebrate her 20th anniversary,” Meridian Public Library Board President Pam Hardcastle said. “After a two-year pandemic delay, the recent generosity of our library supporters has put us on track to meet our financial obligations for the year. Thank you everyone for a very successful Jewels and Jeans!”

Back in 2020, ChisholmCountry.com wrote an article “For the Love of Books” on the importance of the library to the community and its surrounding area. In case you missed it, click the following link:

The only thing needing updating are a few changes in the library’s board members. The board presently consists of President Pam Hardcastle, Vice President Jeanette Kattner, Secretary Dianne Mobley, Interim treasurer Kerry Hicks, Kate Brasfield, Melba Catchings, Lori Choate, Kamree Nieuwenhuis and Dana Williams. Regular volunteers at the library are Andy Williams and Tabby Giesecke.

The Meridian Public Library did not sit still in the “pandemic years.” MPL Director Marianne Woerner is very active and successful in securing grants for the library making sure the library is bigger and better for the next twenty years. They applied for and received grants from the Ohio Dorothy Louise Kyler Foundation and the Texas Ladd & Katherine Hancher Library Foundation to update and expand the library’s inventory with hundreds of books, DVD’s and audio books for youth and adults.

Thanks to a Texas New Mexico Power grant, the library is expanding their reach to the communities surrounding Meridian that do not have a library. Coming soon, the library will place small library boxes in Morgan, Walnut Springs, Iredell, Kopperl, Cranfills Gap and Valley Mills. The MPL will fill and maintain the boxes thanks to community liaisons in the communities and the Valley Mills Library. The idea is to give and take a book from the boxes.

Thanks to the Texas Center for the Book, the library was instrumental in the Literary Landmark designation of the John A. Lomax Amphitheater in 2021. And a book and writer’s club was established 2021 and a quilting piecing class was established in spring 2022.

So, there was plenty to celebrate at the Twenty-Plus-two party and fundraiser last week.

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

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