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I wonder if you’ve ever noticed the ”Memorial” plates on the inside covers of some books.

People come in and out of our lives regularly. Sometimes we know their names and sometimes we don’t.

Years ago there was a gentleman who came into the Library every Tuesday evening to make a copy of the crossword puzzle from that day’s newspaper. I mean EVERY Tuesday evening. He would ask for change to use the copier or for help finding answers but he never checked anything out.

We called him “Crossword Puzzle Guy” with a great deal of affection.

At some point we realized we hadn’t seen him for awhile. Because he didn’t have a library card we didn’t know his name or have any way of finding him.

I still wonder what became of him.

There are other people though that we become attached to whose names we do know. And when they pass away we mourn the passing of a friend.

That’s why those memorial labels mean so much to us. They represent the life of someone we were attached to. And, more importantly, their family recognized how important the Library was to them. Important enough to designate the Library as a memorial.

While books are the most frequent use of memorial money they aren’t the only way that we use it.

My aunt, Jane Godwin, passed away just over a year ago. In addition to naming the Library as one of her memorials, her daughters approached me about doing something else, maybe some kind of garden.

I puzzled over that request for awhile. One day I actually looked at the east side of the building and realized how drab it looked. I approached one of my cousins about using that as the garden they had in mind. She looked it over and agreed that it would be nice to spruce up the exterior of the building.

Angie Buchanan, the City’s Horticulturalist, developed a plan. Best of all Angie was able to incorporate an existing memorial tree into the design. The Library Board and Jane’s family approved them. This spring the old plants were torn out and a new perennial garden created.

Welcome to the “Roy and Jane Godwin Garden.”

The next time you’re in the Library take a look at the southeast corner of the building. Or be sure to notice the memorial plate inside that book you just checked out. They all represent the life of a friend or sometimes a family member who is no longer with us.

We miss them but value their dedication to the Library.