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LIBRARY TALK – JANUARY 26, 2024

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From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director

Old pictures are fun, one usually gets to see the changes over the years. This picture (1902) is roughly 122 years old, yet…. the house looks nearly the same today- a beautiful brick home on N. Second Street. According to the Benua family history, this house was built in 1895 for Frank Benua, then lived in by Catherine Benua, last home of Margaret (Benua) and Mike Koewler, then Katherine and Ben Ward. There is even a library connection to the family, as Elizabeth Scholter, daughter of Elizabeth Benua Scholter and Alphonse Scholter was the director of the library from 1929-1963. We are lucky to have a copy of The Benua History by Albert Ray Benua (1962) and you are always welcome to stop by and browse the book. Apparently, Elizabeth helped Albert in finding details while he was writing the book. Habit of librarians everywhere!

We hope to now have a long stretch of good enough weather for everyone to come to our libraries—while Ripley didn’t lose a beat, Russellville was closed last Friday, and Aberdeen closed both Friday and Saturday. We don’t like to close, but we have to consider safety and comfort of both staff and patrons when making the call. Thanks for putting up with us. The only ‘good’ thing we can think of during the snow days is it is quiet, and unexciting but necessary work can get done.

The other day we were asked why there are fewer new movies on our shelf. Well, we’d like to have more, but the movie industry has had a few setbacks—first COVID, then strikes. When we look at the ‘new releases’ on our supplier’s website, many are old movies in new cases. Also, streaming of movies and series on subscription-based sites such as Amazon Prime and Apple+ has hurt the general availability of DVDs—sometimes series do become available, but often, they stay as streaming—we’re sure it has to do with profitability. We welcome your suggestions and will seriously consider adding to the collection if available.

Matthew