By Barbara Mellon

apl library-thumbnailJune was another busy month here at the library. I think I need a vacation! It really is heartwarming to have so many people stop in to stock up on reading, listening and viewing materials, relax in our streamside gazebo while accessing the WI-FI, share bits of news, enjoy various programs or simply ask for directions.

The library’s Garden Tour on June 20th was a highlight of the month, especially because Mother Nature was kind enough to hold back the rain until the very end of the afternoon! Over sixty people followed the map to find 10 lovely gardens scattered throughout Andes, each with a personality all its own. It was exciting to have a number of new gardens this year along with quite a few returning favorites. Kudos to the gardeners for sharing their beautiful creations and to the volunteers who worked so hard to bring this event to fruition. And a big thanks to those who came, donated and enjoyed! At the end of the day, the library’s coffers were over $650 richer which means so much to our ability to support the community’s needs.

There is a real gem to be found at the Andes Public Library in one of our ongoing programs. On the third Thursday of each month, at 7 pm, the Italian Circle (aka Circolo Italiano) meets. The brainchild of Judy Garrison and Maria Ditchek, a wide variety of topics are entertained (and are generally quite entertaining) relating to “all things Italian.” There is no requirement, though, that attendees have even a hint of Italian blood, only an interest in joining the fun. The June program was a well-attended and extremely enlightening presentation on the history of Italian Jews, and as usual included a variety of foods tied to the evening’s theme. After all, could you have any kind of Italian-related gathering that didn’t include something to eat?  The group next meets on Thursday, July 16th at 7 pm.

Also in June, Andes resident John Gregg treated us to a conversation about his novel Local Stop in the Promised Land. Published in 2014, it follows the lives of a culturally and ethnically diverse group of residents and merchants on a single block of the Upper West Side of Manhattan from the end of the 19th century through 1959. The audience was delighted by both the book and John’s discussion about it, including anecdotes from his life during the writing of it.

After showing the controversial film American Sniper in June, we’re going a bit more upbeat with this month’s selection. On Thursday, July 9th at 7 pm we’ll be presenting another sports movie starring Kevin Costner, this one based on an inspiring true story of novice, predominantly Latino high school students who want to build a cross-country team. Yes, I know the title of this 2015 film is missing, but our license only allows us to use it in publicity within the library building or directly to our patrons. Bet you can figure it out without much trouble, though!