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Christmas trees liven up Lincoln County Public Library

Few things have the power to spark a smile during the holidays like colorful decorations, and the Lincoln County Library is prompting plenty of grins this year by hosting its 13th annual Christmas tree extravaganza.

Kasey Beth Brown, the library youth services coordinator, spearheads the event, and she said each tree signifies the importance of community spirit.

“I think it’s a really fun way to get different groups together,” she said. “Most of the organizations that set up trees here don’t often see each other throughout the year, but they all use the library at some point in time for meetings or other purposes.”

The Master Gardeners, the Culture Pearls, and Pike National Bank are just a few of the many groups that erect stunningly embellished tanenbaums inside the reading complex.

Located in the center of the lobby, the library donation tree functions as the crux of the building-wide display. Covered with little red and green book-shaped ornaments, it offers patrons a special opportunity to contribute to the library’s literary inventory.

“It ranges from a $1 donation to about $18,” Brown said. “You can tell us which book you’d like your donation to go toward, and we put your name in the book. That way, everybody will know who donated it.”

The library accepts financial contributions year round, but the donation Christmas tree represents a major push by the institution’s staff to fill a void in public funding.

“We have a donation tree, because, due to budget cuts, we’re not able to buy all the books we would like, especially for the kids,” Brown said.

Each ornament on the tree represents a different book the library would like to buy for its youth division, and the selection ranges from picture books for babies to newly released young adult novels.

“If you have any summer reading books you know your kids have outgrown, please send them our way,” she said. “We could really use those, too.”

Every tree standing in the library makes a unique impression, and, according to Brown, patrons have really taken notice.

“As soon as the trees go up, people walk in, and their faces totally brighten,” Brown said. “Everybody seems to be jollier when they see the trees.”

Even though the annual event isn’t a contest, Brown has spotted some friendly competition between participants. She said the concentrated efforts of all the decorators have had a tremendous effect on the children who view the display.

“I would like to think that not only does it put them in the Christmas spirit, but there are also some children who never get a tree at home,” she said. “So, seeing the trees makes them feel at home at the library during Christmastime.”

For Brown, the whole point of the library’s tree exhibit is to simply foster community togetherness, and anyone who would like to sponsor a tree next year can contact her at 601-833-3369.

“I just hope a lot of people come by the library this season,” she said. “We have coffee available in the morning. So, come by, grab a cup, look at the trees and just relax.”

Story by Trapper Kinchen