The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

January 14, 2011

Library to open in Elnora

ELNORA — The citizens of Elnora will celebrate a new library in the new year, and volunteers are welcome to help get it going and keep it operating.

Barbara Hickey Waggoner, a lifelong Elnora resident and educator, purchased a vacant residence at the corner of Main and North Griffith streets to be turned into a public library. She appointed a board of directors, and they’ve been working about four months on the concept.

“A house came up for sale just a block away from me and I thought ‘well this might make a good library,’ so I bought the building,” the former music teacher said. “We’ve never had a library except at school. I worked in the library at school when I didn’t have music class. I got interested in it then.”

The one-level structure is roomier inside than it looks from the outside, Waggoner said. Board member Jay Smith said no renovations were necessary. He said a couple of the board members put a lot of time into cleaning and painting.

“Now we’re looking at getting shelving,” Smith said, adding that anyone may donate funds, wood, screws or other supplies. “We had a table and chairs donated by Kimball in Jasper, but we need more adult-size chairs, tables, and lamps. We’ve had donations from people here in town. We’re open to any help we can get.”

Because Elnora was known as Owl Town, Waggoner said, she has a picture of an owl to hang in the library. She said some books have been donated already, and a lot of people have offered to donate books. But she and Smith said they don’t have the capacity to store them until they get some shelves. Smith said Gary Reed of Elnora is going to build some shelves when they get the supplies.

He said the board members would like to have a small reading area, but haven’t planned for anything else yet.

“The board has met two times,” Smith said. “We’re meeting again in January.”

Besides Smith and Waggoner, who is president of the board, other members are Harry Weathers, Martha Reed, Peter Hasler, Marlene Allen, Marsha Herd, and Beverly Black. Meetings are open to the public, according to Smith, and anyone who wants to get involved is welcome. The next meeting is at 7 p.m., Jan. 18, at the library, 102 N. Griffith St.

Waggoner said they can use help preparing the books by placing the placards in the fronts. In addition, once the library opens, volunteers will be needed to assist patrons, re-shelve the books and other daily work. She said there’s currently no money to pay librarians.

The library is privately owned by Waggoner, who said anyone in Elnora will be able to use it. At least to begin with, she said, there probably won’t be a user fee.

Waggoner and Smith explained that the town isn’t interested in responsibility for the library because of the expenses involved in running it. When Waggoner is gone, they said, the board will have to decide how to continue to keep it functioning.

“She was a grade school and high school music teacher,” Smith said of Waggoner. “She wanted to give back to the community. She has a lot of books of her own she’s donating. Her family has always been around Elnora; I’m not sure how long.”

Waggoner said she taught her first two years at Lyons, then was a high school teacher at Elnora in the ‘50s and a grade school teacher at the North Daviess elementaries in the ‘70s. She’s the daughter of the late Maurice “Buster” Hickey and Laura (Morgan) Hickey. She said the Hickeys were among the first settlers in Elnora and the library will be named Hickey Library in their honor.

To make donations or learn more, contact Smith at 486-7731 or mail to P.O. Box 1, Elnora, IN 47529.

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