By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
Gateway-area residents spent last Saturday afternoon enjoying food, films and fun at the Clinton Public Library during the facility's September showcase.
The event was the first of its kind hosted by the library under Director Amy Birtell, who celebrated her one-year anniversary in Clinton the day prior.
As promised, famous former Clinton resident Lillian Russell made an appearance at the event thanks to Birtell's whimsy.
Outside, children played a number of fall-themed games.
Apple stacking, pumpkin ring toss and scarecrow making were among the entertaining ways children earned prize tickets.
Meanwhile, the Clinton County Cattlemen served chips, pop and hot-from-the-grill burgers. The Clinton County Dairy Producers also served ice cream during the event.
As event-goers enjoyed the Showcase in the crisp fall air, some ventured inside to enjoy Charlie Chaplin and Lillian Russell films. Beyond games, food and movies, the event was held to dedicate the new circulation desk to David O. Shaff.
The more than $18,000 addition to the main library was paid for by memorials made on Shaff's behalf, donations from his family and the Friends of the Library.
Nearly a dozen of Shaff's family members including his wife, Lissi, and daughters Martha, Grace and Karen, attended the dedication, which also featured the Clintones.
Martha spoke to approximately 50 people who gathered for the dedication.
“We spent a lot of time here. It was definitely a part of our childhood,” she said. “I'm overwhelmed by how beautiful it is,” she said of the desk.
The desk, which was completed by Tom McNeil, is a replica of the original from the more than century-old facility. The library, Birtell explained, was built using $45,000 from Andrew Carnegie in 1902. The desk was chosen for the Shaff family memorials because if its prominence in the facility.
“Coming in the doors, they saw the desk. When you came in the door today, you saw the desk,” Birtell said.
After the desk dedication was completed, the movies continued inside.
Gary Herrity and Mike Kearney also resumed tours of the historic library.
As dedication ceremony attendees made their way outside, they were greeted with the sounds of the Ron Tegeler Jazz Experience.
The event is part of Birtell's overall vision to increase the community's use of the library.
“This building is a central part of this community and I want it to continue to be a source of pride,” she said.