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Did you know that February is National Library Lover’s Month? There is a lot to love about our community’s library, and we are fortunate to have a former librarian who runs it.

Mary Burchill was the associate director of the Law Library at KU for 15 years before retiring in 1995. Off and on for the next 10 years, Mary and her husband, Brower, worked in Bandelier National Monument—they were both park rangers for one year and then Mary picked up jobs each summer in the bookstore, personnel or gift shop while Brower continued as a ranger. Wherever she went, her experience as a librarian came in handy.

“Most parks have a library, so I was introduced to that form of library service. Then, in maybe 2004, we went to the Grand Canyon. I was to volunteer in the library there. When we got there the ranger said, ‘oh, by the way, the librarian has left, and you are it.’ OK, that was a great experience,” said Mary.

Mary moved into the Presbyterian Manor in 2001 and within two years she agreed to take over the librarian responsibilities and has been running it ever since.

“I enjoy getting books for other people to read. Also, our monthly meetings of the library committee are great fun. We do some business and then talk books. The committee is run by about six people of various interests, so we get a lot of very good ideas,” said Mary.

Mary shares that the library in our community is “strictly for recreational reading” and is stocked with books that have been donated. These include war stories, murder mysteries, adventure and spy books, and “nice” stories. In addition, the Public Library visits every Monday morning and brings a selection of books that can be checked out in addition to titles that have been reserved by residents.

In addition to providing an assortment of books, our community also hosts a book club that meets four times during the Fall and Spring. The Presbyterian Manor buys several copies of the titles that can be checked out from the main office.

“The titles are usually chosen by the activity director with some input from everyone. The club meets in the recreation room and usually has about 15 people present. The leader (which has been me since Linda was gone for a bit) puts together questions about the title and that gets the discussion started. The span of comments is amazing,” said Mary.

All residents are encouraged to join the book club. “Even if you haven’t read the book, it is interesting and will probably inspire you to read it,” said Mary.

Whatever inspires you to read, we hope you enjoy celebrating National Library Lover’s Month!

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