Supporting Reading in the Community
If you enjoy a visit to the Williamson Public Library, you have the Williamson Public Library Board to thank! “Every library in West Virginia is required to have a board of trustees to oversee the finances of the library and maintain the staff,” says Dee Kapourales, one of the board members. “The board is appointed by the governing agency, in our case, the city of Williamson.” The mayor and the city council choose board members. Luckily, the members of Williamson’s Library Board have always gotten along. “In our case, we’ve always had good members and worked well together!” Dee says. “We also have a great staff.”
The board was started by a group of Williamson citizens and council and has been around for years. Dee joined through a community group-- she was a part of the Jr. Woman’s Club and the members began reading to classes and Head Start at the library. When that program ended, the librarian at the time continued calling her up to read to kids visiting the library.
In 1985, a couple in town, Sam and Janice Olive, regretted that the library didn’t offer a story hour like the ones they’d brought their kids to in other towns. This gave Dee and Janice the idea to put together a reading program for kids, which started in September and ended in December. They later expanded to include programs from February until May, and from June to the end of July or the beginning of August. The summer reading program always ends with an ice cream party and prizes for the kids.
Because of Dee and Janice’s work with the kids, they were invited to serve on the library board. “Janice and I are both readers so it’s natural for us!” Dee says. Janice has since resigned, but she continues to do work with other community groups and helps with children’s programs. The board is currently made up of Dee, Meredith Anderson, Willene Moore, Margaret Pinson, and Debbie Wilson.
The board manages programs for kids as well as funding and managing the staff. They receive funding from the state of West Virginia based on the population. Dee encourages folks in town to support the library by filling out the census to support funding and continue visiting the library.
For more information on the Williamson Public Library and their reading programs, follow them on Facebook.
All photos from the Williamson Public Library