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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Book Donation Policy

We’ve had to update our book donation policy:

The WME Library is eternally grateful for all the donations we have received thus far. Without your thoughtful contributions, we wouldn’t be able to offer all that we can. With that said, we have now reached the point where we need to be particular in what donations we can now accept.

The WME Library makes every effort to use all donations but not everything donated can be put out. Some items may be resold at a book sale or donated to other worthy causes. All proceeds from any sales are used to purchase new materials for the library.

Materials accepted:

  • Books in good condition – hardcover or paperback, fiction or non-fiction, adult, young adult or children’s
  • Books published in the last 5 years
  • Recent best sellers
  • Classic titles in excellent condition
  • Audio cassettes, compact discs, videos, or DVDs in working condition
  • Any regional history materials

All donations are tax deductible. A receipt is available upon request, but please note that the library staff cannot assess the value of your gift. Donations can only be accepted during library hours

Thank you for your gift to the WME library!

The WME Library always accepts monetary donations or gift cards to bookstores.

~Sorry Encyclopedias cannot be accepted~

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It’s not too late to sign up your child to be a Super Reader. Our Superhero Summer Reading Program ends August 1st. We have a few cool totes left for the little hero in your life.


Membership is not required for this program or any other activities.

Calling all Superheroes!

Even Spiderman needs a little R&R. On Monday, July 20th, we’re hosting Movie Night for all our summer reading program participants. The movies will air from 5-7:30pm. We are offering entertainment of heroic proportions for kids of all ages. Popcorn and soda will be provided, plus everyone has another chance to put their name in for the Grand Prize Drawing for a new bicycle!

But there’s more…

Our young readers are our champions and we want to celebrate them. We cordially invite all participants and their families to our end of the summer reading program Superhero themed party on Saturday, August 15th from 2pm-4pm. We will also announce the Grand Prize Winner then!

If you have any questions, please leave a comment here, email us at wmecommunityworks@gmail.com or call Tonia Harris at 618-238-9213

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Volunteer Training Workshop


This upcoming Friday, July 17th, we are hosting our first Volunteer Training Workshop from 6pm-8pm. Refreshments will be served during this time. Those interested in volunteering can meet us in the Library Room at the old Edgewood School. Our address is 710 Indiana Street, Edgewood, IL.

We are a grassroots library which counts solely on donations and volunteers at this time and we have a vision of the future in which we can really enable our communities to achieve great things. We need trained volunteers to help cover library hours, run our software, categorize books, cover books, tutor children this fall, and so much more.

Your skills are needed.

The following is a list of services we would like to provide our community with this fall and in the future, in addition to keeping regular library hours:

*Tutoring for children after school

* GED completion programs

* Computer Literacy

* Mentoring

* Bring in local groups, leaders, authors, and more to offer workshops, etc.

We are open to your ideas and suggestions as well. We are a action-based and community oriented library.

For any questions, please leave a comment here, email us at wmecommunityworks@gmail.com or call Tonia Harris at 618-238-9213

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Edgewood Fest Parade and Book Sale!


Come Join Us In The Parade!

We will be walking in the Edgewoodfest Parade this Saturday. If you and your family are interested, please meet us at the library, located at the old Edgewood School, no later than 10am. From there, we will register for the parade. We will provide candy for children to hand out along the way. We encourage kids young and old to wear their favorite Super Hero gear to support our Super Hero Summer Reading Program.


super hero

Still haven’t brought your children in to sign up for our summer reading program? Guess what? It’s not too late! We are happy to have you and still have cool tote bags available for all who register. Membership is not required to participate in any activities.

How much does membership cost?

Only $5.00 for the entire household.

Book Sale!!!  Love_is_in_the_books_by_mms92

We are holding our Book Sale from 1pm-4pm this Saturday, June 27. We were fortunate to receive so many books from donations that we have several duplicate and triplicate titles to sell. Do you love romance? We have them! We will have Boxes of Books and Bags of Books- pick out your selection all for a free will donation. All proceeds go to the WME Community Library.

Many thanks to the former Book Depot of Effingham and the generous members of our community for their book donations. We appreciate all of you!

Questions? You can leave a comment here, email us at wmecommunityworks.gmail.com or call Tonia Harris at 618-238-9213.

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