A New Introduction

libraryquote     We celebrated our two-year anniversary on June 8th, and we’ve grown, but we know our future is bright and ever-evolving. What follows is a re-introduction, which includes our regular summer hours and who we are, board members, charter members, and volunteers alike. We love our community and our team!


Summer Hours:

Sunday: Closed

Monday: 5:30-7pm

Tuesday: 9am-11am

Wednesday: Closed

Thursday: 3:30pm-7pm

Friday: 11am-1pm

Saturday: 1-4pm

Hours may change because we are run by volunteers. Please check our Facebook page for any last-minute schedule changes or events.


Board Members:

President- Tonia Harris, Edgewood

Vice President- Lena Myers, Edgewood

Treasurer- Carla Sowers, Edgewood

Secretary- Karla L, Edgewood

Honorary Board Member: Shelley Souza, New York City, NY

Charter Members:

Tonia Harris

Lena Myers

Colby Higgs, Watson

Dawn Dunston, Effingham

Carmen Walker, Watson


Karla L., Carol Ruffner, Richard Verdeyen, Tonia Harris, Dee Yingst


Yes, we do need more volunteers! Even if you don’t work a shift at the library, we would still love assistance with reading programs, mentoring, tutoring, computer literacy and adult literacy courses.

Donations: As of now, we are looking for either classic titles, or books that have been released in the last five years and no older. We always need Young Adult and Children titles. We are also in need of bookshelves, bookends, and a DVD/VCR combo.

Membership: Only $5.00 to sign your entire household up for membership. We have upwards of 5,000 books and multimedia to offer our patrons.

Free Wi-Fi and access to two public computers to anyone- you don’t have to be a member to use these or participate in any of our activities or fundraising events.

Thank you for your continued patronage and support!



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Monster Dash 5k Run and Walk

monsterdashPlease join us for our first ever ghoulish 5k!
Costumes are encouraged, Prizes will be awarded for
Best Individual Costume &
Best Group Costume!!
$25 Registration until October 1st, $35 after.

Time: Saturday, October 22nd at 9am
Place: Watson Baptist Church
100 N Old Watson Rd, Watson, Illinois 62473

We are looking for sponsors! If you’re interested in getting the name of your business on our Monster Dash t-shirts for a small fee of $50, please call Tonia Harris at 618-238-9213l

Register online here: http://www.getmeregistered.com/WMEMonsterDash5K

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Ongoing and Upcoming Events

Happy One Year Anniversary, WME Community Library!

We opened June 8, 2015. What does our ongoing growth look like?

We now serve 75 families.

                 We have over 1,000 books and multimedia items in our system.

                  We have checked out 1, 015 items to our patrons since we opened our doors last year!

Thank you to all of our board members and all of you who have donated time, books, and various resources to our library. We love our communities and hope to continue to be even more better able to serve them.


Ongoing Events:

Our Summer Reading Program runs from May 31-July 30. Your children don’t have to be members to participate. Simply bring your kiddoes in and as long as they can tell us one sentence about a book they read, they will receive:

1 coupon for a child’s cone from Treats R Us

The choice of 1 item from our prize box

& a chance to enter their name in a drawing to win a gift card.


Please also donate to our library via crowd funding. No donation is too small. For more information and to make an online donation, please copy and paste this link to your browser:  https://fundly.com/the-little-library-that-could


Upcoming Events:

June 24- Open House from 4-6pm. We will have a membership and Summer Reading Program Drive, small book sale, and the creation station will be open to your children for somewhere cool and safe to play from the heat.

June 28- Culver’s Fundraiser from 5-7pm. A portion of the proceeds earned during this time will benefit the library.

September 18– Paint with Stang Arts for the WME Library. Cost is $40. All painting supplies and light refreshments will be provided.

October 22– Monster Dash 5k for the library in Watson, IL. Check your newsletters and back to this website for more details.

November 17– Family Read Night. Great things are in the works for this event that the entire family will enjoy.


Thank you! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments or email: wmecommunityworks@gmail.com





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We Need Your Help


Last week, we began an online crowd funding effort through the Fundly site. Please follow this link: The Little Library That Could


Nearly a year after opening our doors, we’ve grown. We now have over 3,000 book titles and media available to our patrons. Eighty families are signed up with our Little Library That Could. We offer public access to computers, free Wi-Fi, free workshops such as yoga, summer reading programs, story times, and family movie and craft events. Much of what we offer is available to everyone in our communities, regardless of membership. (Membership is only $5 for your entire family, good for one year).

We really do love our communities and wish to better serve them. The WME Community Library has great plans for the future:  Mentoring programs, after school homework help, computer literacy, internet courses, free workshops from more yoga to genealogy, and more.

We want to help our communities thrive.

What can you do to help?

  • Donate to our online fundraiser. No amount is too small.
  • Donate new books (books that have come out in the last five years) and classic titles for all age groups.
  • Attend our fundraisers.
  • Share our online fundraiser, other events, and library hours on social media.
  • Volunteer. Please. We need volunteers and love them for sharing their time and resources.

Upcoming Events:

  • Summer Reading Program begins Tuesday, May 31st
  • Culvers Fundraiser: eat at Culvers June 28th from 5-7pm and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the library
  • Paint with Stang Arts fundraiser Sept. 18th
  • Monster Dash 5k for the library on October 22nd
  • November 17 is Family Read Night



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Five Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month



April is National Poetry Month and the WME Community Library is celebrating our love for all things verse.

This April marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month and is the world’s largest literary celebration. To find out more about this national event, please visit http://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/home for more information.

Here are five ways you can add a little poetry to your life:

  1. Read poetry. This goes without saying, but there are so many poets to read, from the classics such as Shakespeare and Whitman, to more modern poets such as Maya Angelou and Alice Jones. Add a twist to story time with your children and read them Shel Silverstein for lots of giggles and fun language.
    Our recommendations (and available for checkout): Good Poems, Selected and Introduced by Garrison Keillor. Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.
  2. Attend a poetry slam/reading. Slams and readings introduce you to local creatives and broaden your poetry horizons. Poetry often flourishes in these environments, wherein you discover new, fresh voices.
  3. Create and share your own poetry. Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme, or be pages long, to express something important. Try your hand at it- write about anything you please and share it with friends and family. Read it aloud to your family, or share with your friends on social media.
  4. Read a memoir or biography on a favorite poet. Recommended reading (and available for checkout): I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. We lost this great legend, but her powerful and evocative poetry, as well as her personal story, continues to inspire dreamers and survivors today.
  5. Watch a poetry or poet inspired movie. There are brilliant movies and documentaries out there about poets such as Sylvia Plath (Sylvia) or Dylan Thomas (Set Fire to the Stars). Then there is the penultimate ode to verse, Dead Poet’s Society, starring the late, great Robin Williams. Set Fire to the Stars is available on Netflix, and Dead Poet’s Society is running on Hulu.
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
~Carl Sandburg




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Four Reasons to Read Fantasy

fantasy.jpgI’m a late-bloomer when it comes to reading and loving the fantasy genre. I remember  adoring The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a child, but even quixotic notions of lampposts in wintry woods didn’t compel me to embrace fantasy. It took Stephen King and my husband (long before he was my husband) to lure me into other realms.

I found King’s work when I was eleven. Yeah, that’s young to read about rabid dogs and even more rabid clowns, but please don’t judge my parents. I was a crafty kid. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I began and quickly became obsessed with The Dark Tower series, which is still my favorite fantasy series. Sorry, Potter Fans. I’m really sorry.

My formal introduction to the fantasy genre was romantic. Well, romantic to this bookworm.

I was reading Song of Susannah when my husband introduced himself. Before I could bookmark my page and flutter my eyelashes, he had printed off a list of books he thought I should try out. Soon I was reading Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, and Jacqueline Carey. And I found myself married to my best friend.

Seriously. Tres romantique.

I won’t bore you with all the reasons I avoided fantasy. Most of them were misguided and snobbish. This from a horror fan who knew all the stigmas attached to being a lover of this genre, particularly a female fan.

What I want instead is to tell you why I think this genre is fascinating as well as fantastical and why it’s seeing such a widespread resurgence in popularity. Why I keep going back to it, and dream of dragons, champions, and wizards.

  1.  The world building. The world we live in and negotiate every day can be tough, maddening, and there are long stretches of time in which little makes sense. In a fantasy novel, there is a new world with new people, or creatures, and rules. In our life, we don’t often know what stakes are at play when we make our choices. In a book, we do. There’s danger and evil and never are the choices easy, but a good novel pulls you in with its depth and it’s a virtual vacation. It’s freshness gives you the reader a chance not only that break from your daily affairs, but chances are you come away with a new perspective.
  2. Transformation. In life it’s often hard to step back and truly witness how we, and the ones we love, have changed over time. Or perhaps you’re on the cusp of making different choices in your life and you’re afraid. Even if you can’t admit it to yourself. Fantasy grounds itself in transformation. Harry Potter, Fitzchilvary, and Katniss Everdeen- we share in their personal trajectory and find inspiration and cause for bravery through them.
  3. The Issues. Fantasy is a safe place where we can explore issues that abound in our modern culture. Rarely is any issue black and white, even in a good read. Only within the story,nothing is expected from us but to turn the page and go along for the ride. Yet we’re in the characters’ shoes, navigating racism, plays for power, hubris, sexuality, and more. I know a few fantasy writers. They’re often savvy to both our history and our present- the world around them matters and their stories often mirror contemporary society. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind is one of my favorite books. When I finished reading it, I understood better where I stood with my own ideals and beliefs. It challenged me to think beyond the surface of routine and media.
  4. The Power of One. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, or to be honest- often, when I watch the news I come away wondering what little ole me can do to make a difference. Life appears to work hard at taking away our personal power. Fantasy novels show us over and over again that this is a choice we make. Do we give away or give up our sense of what we can do as individuals to create ripples, and rock the boat? Yes, story says. Bravery isn’t in not being afraid, but choosing to use that fear to propel you through your challenge. One person, or creature, does matter. You matter. One small choice made in courage and with love leads to another. A boy in specs can lead a magical army, one girl with a sword can change the course of war, a hobbit can overcome great evil.

Fantasy reminds you magic exists everywhere and imagination is an astounding gift we all have access to.



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Five Reasons To Read A Book Today


I’m with Bowie- reading brings me joy. The first book I remember really loving was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. As the oldest of five girls, an avid reader, and with literary dreams of my own, I claimed irrepressible Jo March as my soul sister. Yes, reading helped form my sense of identity and place in the world. It’s one of the reasons I helped bring our grassroots library into existence- everyone deserves those moments in their lives. Moments that reveal connection, a sense of pattern, and yes, a little magic.

Beyond this, reading does so much more for our lives, our brains, and our relationships with others.

1. Reading reduces stress levels. Reading, like meditation, requires you to remain in the present moment. A good novel or nonfiction book focuses your brain and consciousness elsewhere. A study at the University of Sussex showed that it only takes six minutes of reading to slow heart rate and ease tension in the muscles.

2. Reading improves memory, and can even help slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a paper suggests readers, or those who put together puzzles or play games are up to 2.5% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. While reading, you have to remember lists of characters, events, etc. Each new memory creates a new pathway in the brain which assists short-term memory recall and stabilizes moods.

3. Reading improves focus and raises productivity levels. Contemporary studies are finding that we multi-task at risk to our ability to focus, complete work, and think creatively. Lifehack suggests reading for 15-20 minutes every day before you go into work to raise concentration levels. Scientists are now finding that spikes in neural networks while reading continue for as long as five days after a session with a book.

4. Reading traditional books before bed can help you sleep. In addition to stress relieving benefits, reading and other calm rituals at bedtime signal to the  brain it’s time to sleep. But be aware- e-readers and computer screens have been shown to interfere with a good night’s sleep.

5. Reading improves your imagination, and imagination is important.


Reading can open your mind to what is possible not only in the realm of story, but in your personal life and endeavors as well.

Here are some suggested titles to choose from our selection:

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathon Safran Foer



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What I Didn’t Expect

When my cousin Tonia posted a thing on Facebook asking for people to help her set up a library for the communities of Watson, Mason, and Edgewood, I ignorantly signed on. I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never been on a board for anything before, let alone start a board with strangers. Through meetings with these people that I didn’t know, we developed our ideas and set up WME Works with the idea to open our own library for the Watson, Mason, and Edgewood areas. Fundraisers, board meetings, and little free libraries ensued. Through 2 years our ideas flourished and book donations poured in. Suddenly we had a home for our library in the old Edgewood School. Out of nowhere it seemed we had bookshelves and a grand opening date. A summer reading program was planned. And we opened. Successfully. Our grassroots library that functions solely through the donations of others has patrons. And they keep coming back.

When I said I’d help with the library, I wanted to help with the books and the children. I wanted to keep books alive in an age of e-readers. I wanted the magic of unknown books and the spirit of a library for these communities south of Effingham that didn’t always have access to the library in Effingham.

Here we are, six plus months in. Patrons continue to come in. They continue to return books and check out new finds. We continue to get book donations. Our patrons and the communities that I previously knew nothing about keep supporting us.

When I envisioned helping open a library, I imagined getting lost in the books and growing my ever-expanding to-read list. I got that. But I got more. I didn’t expect my now nine-year old son to want to come with me every.single.time I said I was going to the library. He constantly drags his friends along, telling them “it’s fun, they have books, computers, games, and we set up a craft table!” I was not expecting my eleven-year old daughter to be so passionate about books we could now read side-by-side.

I’ve gotten to know those strangers sitting alongside me at the board meetings. The cousin that was previously just a poet and mother that I didn’t really know anything about has become a treasured friend. We bonded over countless hours of sorting through books while sharing our life stories. The communities that I didn’t know beforehand are more than just towns south of where I live. The lady at the post office has become one of our biggest supporters, showing up at our fundraisers and posting our hours on the bulletin board. I know patrons by name and by the bounce of the blonde ringlets who come in with them.

My family and I have become closer at this little grassroots library. My children have saved up their own money to purchase new DVD’s to donate. Beloved books and board games that sat on our shelves at home now have a new home at the library. I watched my son hand out water bottles for multiple hours at a triathlon in support of the library. My daughter was thrilled to help out at our Culver’s fundraiser where she handed out trays of food to the customers. They’ve not received anything for their help other than the satisfaction of a good day’s work and knowing they are helping a cause greater than their own. That husband of mine spent multiple hours moving tables and boxes of books for no reward.

I expected to donate time and spend hours shelving books. I didn’t expect to get to so much in return.

-Dawn Dunston, WME Board Member

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Paint with Stang Arts for the WME Community Library

Stang Art

We are thrilled to host Stang Arts on Sunday, January 24th from 3pm-6pm. Everyone ten years of age and older is welcome to come. Cost is $45, which includes all materials to create your masterpiece as well as refreshments to enjoy while you paint and spend time with your family and friends. Part of the proceeds will benefit the WME Community Library.

Meet us at 710 Indiana Street in Edgewood, IL (the old Edgewood grade school). This event will take place in the cafeteria.

Please reserve your spot by paying at least two weeks in advance (January 10th will be the cutoff date).  Make any checks payable to WME Community Works. You are welcome to drop your payment off at the library or mail them to: The WME Community Library
P.O. Box 152

Edgewood, IL 62426

If you have any questions, please call the library at 618-944-8063, or Tonia at 618-238-9213.

Thank you for stopping by and we hope you join in the creative fun with the WME Library Staff and Stang Arts!



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On Why The WME Community Library Is Important To Me

Tonia Was Here

libraryquoteThis post will be very emotional. I just wanted to let you know before we go any further together. I’m writing from a broken heart. Some of the reasons are very personal, other reasons include the recent shooting in South Carolina, and all the violence we see daily across our nation and across our world.

This September will mark two years since a young girl died at the hands of her uncle. Her name is Willow Long. My daughters knew her. She lived in a village just ten minutes from mine. I remember those long nights waiting for news about her. Would they find her alive? Like many mothers in my area, I kissed my children good night. So glad they were safe. So thankful. Yet guilty because there was a little girl out there… in pain, afraid, lost, alone. We didn’t know.

We didn’t know a family member did…

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