Cove Library holds 5th annual Rally Day
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Public Library held their 5th annual Rally Day to celebrate the end of National Library Week on Saturday.
The library held giveaways throughout the week in conjunction with National Library Week, which started Monday, April 9, with Muffin Monday, where the first 50 library patrons to check out received a free muffin. On “Trivia Tuesday,” patrons could win a library cup by taking a trivia quiz. On “Wi-Fi Wednesday”, guests with a device that was logged into the library’s network won a library cup. On “Theatre Thursday”, guests who checked out a book based on a movie or checked out a movie based on a book or play received a library cup. “Photo Friday” allowed guests who posted a photo on social media tagging their location at the library won a library cup.
The celebrations concluded with the Rally Day Festival held in the library’s meeting room, with displays from local clubs and organizations that use the library as a meeting place.
“It’s just a time for people who enjoy the library to kind of get together and to see what else is happening and just kind of raise awareness in the community that the library is here and we’ve got a lot going on,” said Kevin Marsh, Library Director.
Of the approximately 10 to 12 clubs or organizations that meet at the library, four had displays at Saturday’s event, including the Central Texas Writer’s Society, the Double C’s Square Dance Club, the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, the Friends of the Library and the Dungeons and Dragons group.
The Central Texas Writer’s Society meets the fourth Thursday of every month at the library at 6:00 p.m.
The Double C’s Square Dance Club meets every Tuesday evening for free square dance lessons and holds square dances the second and fourth Friday of each month at 7 p.m. at the library.
The local chapter of the SCA, The Stronghold of Hellsgate, includes Copperas Cove as well as surrounding areas all the way to Salado and Moody. They had an interactive demonstration of weaving set up near their table as well as displays showing different styles of combat armor. The group, which focuses on recreating the arts and culture from the Medieval times, meets every Thursday at Carl Levin Park in Harker Heights for their Social and Practice, to hone fighting techniques and social skills, at 7 p.m.
The Friends of the Library meet at 7 p.m. the third Monday of the month in January, May, August and November.
Every third Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the local Dungeons and Dragons players take over the library’s meeting room. According to Kenneth Elwood, there has been as many as 20 players at one time but the number of people playing the fantasy roleplaying game is typically six or seven.
“We are always open to groups that need a place to meet in the community,” Marsh said. “We’re open to everyone, and so we’d like to just encourage different groups who need a place to meet, to kind of convene, to gather information, just share experiences and do fun things.”
Food was donated by Schlotzsky’s, Domino’s and Raising Cane’s for lunch, available for a suggested donation of $2, with proceeds going to the Friends of the Library.
The purpose of the Friends of the Library is to support the Copperas Cove Public Library, according to member Paul Fleet.
The organization raises money through donations, membership fees, running the copy machines at the library and their book sales in the lobby of the library. The group offered special pricing for these books during National Library Week. Each month, the lobby book sales bring in $600-$800 for the organization.
The main way the organization supports the library is through the Summer Reading Program, which runs from June to July and is entirely funded by the Friends of the Library.
They have also purchased the chairs in the meeting room as well as helped out when Copperas Cove city council could not, Fleet said.
“The year that the city council said, ‘We can’t afford to fund the library to buy new books’, The Friends kicked in $5,000,” Fleet said. “Could you imagine the library with no new books for a year?”
Fleet also mentioned that one year, the cable company decided to not provide free internet access at the library and Friends of the Library paid for the service for a year before city council acted.
This year featured local authors, Renee Alter, Elizabeth Moon, Helen Munday and Lynette Sowell from Lampasas, Florence, Gatesville and Copperas Cove.
Each author had their books displayed and were available to sign books for fans.
Munday’s latest book, My Dream, America, is about her life as she immigrated to the United States from South Africa during the Apartheid era. She has been a nursing home administrator for 34 years, but she dreamed of coming to America when she was 13-years-old, she said. When she arrived in the U.S., she had only a suitcase, a guitar, $1,600 in her pocket, a ticket for a year and a visa that expired in three months. She eventually ended up in Texas, where she got a work visa, before she brought over her family. She said she wrote her book after being asked by so many people about how she ended up in Texas.
“I just felt like I needed to tell my story and I just wanted to put some positivity out there to America because I love America and I think people need to keep their hopes and dreams alive because they come true,” Munday said.
Munday said she is currently working on a follow up book, called Before and After the Dream, which will fill in any gaps in My Dream, America. The people who have read her book have told her they want to read more about her life in South Africa, she said.
Lampasas author Renee Alter said she started writing at age 14, moving to songwriting at age 16 and letter writing when she left home. It wasn’t until she was 43 that she wrote her first memoir/book in the late 90s. In July 2010, she had a “mystical experience” and started writing nonstop, she said.
On her table, she had several of her books including View from a Tree, a book of short stories about cats that was available for sale with a pair of paw print earrings. A portion of the proceeds would be donated to Lampasas Community Cats- TNR group, which provides trap, neuter, release services for the Lampasas County feral cat population.
Alter said she enjoyed being at the Rally Day event and that she wished there were more events where authors could set up. Even if the public does not come out, the authors still get to talk with each other and share things, Alter said.