During the past two months, our library has been quiet as a mouse. We have missed the laughter of our children, the conversations with our patrons – who also are our friends – and avid readers.

When time stands still in this library it makes us appreciate our patrons even more, if that’s possible. These books are meant to be in the reader’s hands, not sitting on the shelves.

Our children’s room – oh, how “Zen” misses those little hands on the walls of her tank. Yes, that’s our library pet fish … if you haven’t meet her, stop by sometime and say hello.

Each year, our library has offered a Summer Reading Program for our families.

What’s our program going to look like this year? Well, it’s going to be a great, big Scavenger Hunt, and it’s going to so much fun – “Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.” (Dr. Seuss)

In the past weeks, as we strived to meet the needs of our patrons, the Rusk Public Library has offered the curb side delivery and even made a few home deliveries, as well as introduced some folks to the Overdrive App so that they could try E-books.

Yes, libraries are about the books on the shelves but to us, ours is so much more.

For some of our patrons, we are the only place where they have social interaction with others. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in our having to adapt to a new normal and we here at the library will do whatever necessary to keep our patrons safe. Even if it means you get to check in and out your own books … the advantage is that we still get to see your smiling faces and you get to read.

Our library is our community and we will do what is needed to help keep everyone safe. Social distancing and use of hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes are what you will find at the Rusk Public Library.

At this time, our library is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with limited amounts of people in the library at one time.

Author Caitlin Moran best described the purpose of a library: “A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are a cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold and rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead.”

So stop by the Rusk Public Library … we'd love to serve you!

The Rusk Public Library is located at 207 E. 6th St., in downtown Rusk. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To learn more, call 903-683-5916 or visit our Facebook page, “Rusk Public Library, or our page on the city website, www.rusktx.org.

Registration for the 2020 Summer Reading Program is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, at the library.

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