Brooksville Garden apartments receives library

Nannette Gohlston reads to children at Brooksville a book from their new library during the open house on Wednesday morning. (Photo by Mary Rumore, SDN)

Staff Writer

Brooksville Garden apartments celebrated its new donated library with an open house Wednesday morning.

The library was made possible by the First United Methodist Church Starkville’s Laundry Love Ladies Bible study group, the United Way of North Central Mississippi and other volunteers and donors.

Laundry Love Ladies member Cindy Melby said the Bible study group has been working with the residents at Brooksville Garden for some time, which led to the creation of the library.

"We started coming and washing clothes in the laundry room every Monday from 10 a.m. until noon, and we provide the laundry detergent," Melby said. "The J.L. King Center in the park assists us with providing the detergent, and we have an educational and support partnership with them."

Melby said the idea for the library came while the group was spending time with Brooksville Garden residents during the laundry program.

"When we visited with the parents here, we had a real reality check of how hard it is for some of them to get from this point to become a great mom, a great housekeeper or getting a job because a lot of them don't have transportation," Melby said. "Going to the library is different for them because they can't just jump in their car."

Melby said they hope having a library on site will improve the residents' quality of life, as well as help children in school by allowing them easy access to books for book reports and other assignments.

The library is located inside the main office at the apartment complex, and it is stocked with children's books and books for adults.

Resident Shanice Davis will serve as the librarian and receive a salary for her work.

"We have one of our laundry ladies who has been coming with us for a whole year who is going to be our librarian, and she's going to be our librarian and keep the shelves stocked and work in the library," Melby said.

Melby said the staff and management of Brooksville Garden has been extremely supportive of the project, and she also hopes the library's location in the office will help strengthen the relationship between management and residents.

All of the books and the bookshelves were all donated to the project, but one more bookshelf is still needed to make the library complete. Melby said anyone wanting to donate books to the library could drop them off at FUMC, located at 300 West Lampkin St. in downtown Starkville.

"We want the residents the residents to know that we love them because Jesus loves us," volunteer Nan Donohoe said. "We want to demonstrate that and be his hands and feet. We want to show them that we care about them and want to build relationships with them."