A little before noon — before lunches, tears, and naps — it’s all smiles for the lucky tots around the lake who listen to Ms. Morgan read her library books.
Ms. Morgan is UT alumni Morgan McMillian, the seven-year director for the Lake Travis Community Library. And the books she’s reading belong there.
With a stone archway as a backdrop overlooking a serene pond, it’s an ideal way to spend a Tuesday morning.
The Lake Travis Community Library is a true community library. Founded in 1985, the library has seen incredible growth thanks to the generosity of the Lake Travis community.
For over twenty years, Lake Travis High School shared their space so the library could open their doors. In 2006, they were blessed again with a 3,500 square foot retail space in the Lohman’s Crossing Shopping Center.
The collection kept growing …
In 2013, after a land donation from developer Haythem Dawlett, a library — fit to hold their almost 3,000 items — opened. All of it is available for free to the districts of Hudson Bend, Lakeway, The Hills, Spicewood, and Briarcliff.
And it’s with those communities at heart that something very special is about to happen.
Before I say more, let’s go back to that magic word — FREE.
Everything in the library is free; E-books, movies, TV shows, even computers are free to use. There are reading chairs, private workstations, and hidden nooks around every corner.
A meeting room for larger groups and a kitchen that hosts two cooking classes gives the library a warm feeling of home. Read a book, surf the Internet, or catch an episode of the newest hit shows on TV while floor to ceiling windows boast the beautiful Lakeway landscape.
In the Teen Room, with my 5-year-old twins by my side, I couldn’t help imagining the proud parents whose son or daughter spends time in this room sipping a free cup of coffee, quietly reading a book.
So let’s go back to that something special the library is cooking up. And here’s a hint: it’s not in their cooking classes.
With fingers crossed — when the bell rings in the new 2016-2017 school year — it’ll be wheels rolling for the Bookmobile. The Bookmobile will provide access to all items of the library to the districts in the community.
This means pickup spots around the Lake Travis community plus delivery to homebound residents, nursing homes, and preschools. All in an effort to make reading (and the plethora of other library items) available to everyone.
That’s just the beginning
Their commitment to providing books and resources to the community is just the beginning of what they do for literacy.
Joining a collective group of libraries around the country, the Lake Travis Community Library readies your young children for school with the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program.
An endeavor important to me, reading a book a day with your child will combat illiteracy while they learn the most important things in life like compassion, empathy, and love. As someone who spends a lot of time in libraries, the Lake Travis Community Library Children’s Collection is impressive.
In addition, there are programs for all ages filling up the library calendar.
For children, along with daily story times full of books, songs and crafts, slip into your pj’s on the third Tuesday of the month for Pajama Story Time at 6:15pm. Enjoy cookies and milk while listening to themed picture books in your slippers.
If you need a break from all the books, check into the Chess Club, the Lego Club, or Little Yoga.
For teenagers, the library offers a unique opportunity in their volunteer program. If books are your passion, spend your life surrounded by them and maybe even earn one of the scholarships awarded by the Friends of the Library.
For adults, there’s a memoir writing group that explores personal histories through writing exercises. If a trip down memory lane doesn’t appeal to you check out the knitting club, genealogy group, or coloring for adults.
There are also a variety of book clubs. Like “The Book to Big Screen” club which reads books with upcoming theatrical releases.
For sippers, there’s “The Glass of Wine Book Club” which is not to be outdone by “The Bottle of Wine Book Club.”
Exercise, culture and more
As a special treat, Michael Sandham, owner of Shaolin Martial Arts, conducts a Tai Chi class for adults looking to exercise. And if culture is what you seek, check out any of the monthly art exhibits like the drawings by Janet Sopp-Sims. Who knows, you may even bump into one of our local writers like Carole Sikes author of Hudson Bend and the Birth of Lake Travis.
Computer classes, Facebook trainings, even tutorials on how to take photos with your iPhone all provided to the community who has provided so much for the Lake Travis Community Library.
On the shelves, on-line, and soon to be on the Bookmobile, the Lake Travis Community Library has something for everyone.