Members of our community have donated over 700 volumes to the library in the last year, more than enough reading material to fill the original five bookcase. Although small compared to the public library branches, the community library, located on the 2nd floor of the clubhouse, has several advantages over the public library.

The community library is more convenient because it functions as a book exchange. Members of the community are asked to donate 1 or more books and can take out as many as they donate. There is no need to return the book by a due date. The only request is that you do sign it out. The reason for this is actually to encourage more donations. If there is a book you are fond of, but are pretty sure you aren't going to want to read it again, but would like to keep it in the community just in case you may want it back, there is a good chance you can get it back as long as we keep track of who has it. The fact that we keep track of it may help Woodlake bibliophiles to let go of books that are just sitting in storage when neighbors might enjoy them.

The WHOA library also houses the archives of our community. Architectural Review files, WHOA board of directors meeting minutes and plats have been stored there since the clubhouse was turned over to the community and have been absorbed into the library. Such documents are part of our community's history and have not been put on the web, but hard copies can be viewed upon request during library hours. Additionally, if you want to purchase one of those nice blue tote bags with our community name and heron logo, stop by at the library and pick one up for two dollars. One more advantage is that you can walk to it on a nice Monday evening, and check out the Clubhouse. If you haven't seen it in the past year you'll be pleasantly surprised.

A Brief History of the Library

The library was originally conceived by Judy Stenger of the Chesden section of our neighborhood. Judy, who was elected to the board last year, promoted the library as a campaign promise. I mentioned it as an idea that I would like to implement in my short little introductory speech that I gave at the annual membership meeting in April of 2009 when I was running for a position on the board that opened up last year. Since I was elected, I had the chance to propose it to the board and they went for it. Judy Stenger is the librarian and Mathilda Du Toit is the assistant librarian. I could never have gotten this off the ground without Mathilda, says Judy.

Mathilda and her husband Stephen Du Toit, were instrumental in cleaning out the upstairs part of the Clubhouse, which is where the library is located. Originally the upstairs part of the Clubhouse was a loft in the back half of the building which served as an office for one of the Realtors and the Foyer/lobby area was open up to the roof. In 2006, the size of the 2nd floor was more than doubled when a floor was added, separating the front of the building into 2 separate floors. A large conference table was put up in the new space, allowing the board of directors to meet upstairs even when the lower floor was being used for another activity.

The original back half of the Clubhouse was where the archives were stored. The existing book shelves contained boxes of miscellaneous items. Over the following years that area came to be used to store the Communities Holiday wreaths and paint cans. These items were stored elsewhere and a call for book donations was put out in August and September of 2009. Soon thereafter we felt we had enough material to open. Over the last year we've outgrown the shelf space. Thanks to former Clubhouse attendents, Mathilda Du Toit and Betty Turnbull, the money has existed to enhance the clubhouse, downstairs and upstairs. By generously donating their share of rental fees to a clubhouse account, the Ms. DuToit and Ms. Turnbull, who now serve together on the board, provided the money to purchase the new bookcases.

Having more space, we are still able to collect books and movies and periodicals from those who'd like to donate such items to the community. This enhances our collection so that we can hopefully draw more Woodlake readers. If you would like to help expand our collection, you may place them in the left side of the ARC drop box outside the clubhouse, if you are unable to come during a Monday night.

Volunteer Librarians Welcome.

The library is open every Monday night except on holidays. If you haven't visited before, its worth checking out. If you stopped by a year ago and didn't find much of interest, please stop by again as our collection as doubled and now includes movies and some periodicals. Please check out the list accompanying this article for a complete list of holdings. In the future this listing will be linked to descriptions of the items reviewing the subject matter.

Article by Judy Stenger

View a list of the library holdings or Read more about the library