By Kathy Oswalt-Forsythe
The Schoolcraft Ladies Library Association, after facing the challenges of COVID, has made a few changes; the adjustments are attracting new members. Kelly Bergland, president, hosted a picnic Sunday, July 25 in her gardens, with 30 current and new members in attendance.
Traditionally, the group has met the first and third Tuesday of the month, October through May. After discussion and some encouragement from the group’s leadership, the Schoolcraft Ladies Library Association is working to move some of their meetings to days and times that accommodate the more diverse schedules of the members and potential members. The response has been positive.
The Schoolcraft Ladies Library was organized in 1879 and incorporated in 1886, one of the first women’s clubs in Michigan. The association supports public libraries, but is separate from them. As Bergland talked about the rich history of the organization, she said, “Certainly this organization faced challenges in the past and those women had to adapt and figure it out.“
The Association relies on fundraising and donations to maintain its historic building. The last year was challenging as members were unable to host their Cream Tea, Christmas Bazaar and the Historic Home Tour. But an outpouring of donations from community and club members was astounding and encouraging. Bills were paid and another phase of plaster restoration in the historic building was completed on schedule.
In talking about the group’s history, Bergland says that in the past, “members were required to write research papers for presentation, and conduct debates.” This “homework” is no longer required. Bergland said the association and its members “provide ongoing financial support to four public school libraries, present books to our community library, and look forward to once again hosting our young women graduates from Schoolcraft High School.”
Plans for the upcoming year are in process. September will bring a book sale, bake sale and mini garage sale. In October, members will host a “Tea and Tour” to share the history of the beautiful historic building. Their Christmas Bazaar is on track for December. All dates and times for these events will be announced in the coming weeks, as well as upcoming meetings and programs. For more information on membership, or to sign up for their newsletter, contact Kelly Bergland at (269)552-8436 or email Kassyb@sbcglobal.net.