What makes the library so great are the amazing patrons that not only support the library's commitments to provide entertainment, education and connections, but who also show a strong love for their community. We are honored to have such dedicated neighbors! One of these loving patrons is Mr. James Beard. He has been visiting the Saline County Library for several years and even showed his support at the State Capitol in 2017 to encourage legislators to support libraries!
We interviewed Mr. Beard for a small feature in our February magazine, but we wanted to expand on his interview because everyone will enjoy getting to know a little bit about him!
1) How long have you been a patron of the Saline County Library?
I would say since about 2006, but I grew up here and moved back in 2006. I remember the library when it was where the Gann Museum is, and I went there as a child. I love the library.
2) What are some of your hobbies?
I love to listen to classical organ music. I love the classical organ and that's one of my favorite past times. I recently went to a concert at the Christ Episcopal Church in Little Rock and it was wonderful. Mr. Clinesmith from the West Coast came and he's a master. They have an Arkansas-made Nicholson-Simpson organ there (at the Christ Episcopal Church), which he considers one of the finest in the world. He played one number, a Bach number, that was really exceptional.
3) Why do you love the library?
The library is a fun place for me because I love to read. I will take reading over watching TV any day. I'm just a reader. The staff here has been...that's the thing about this library, the staff; they are excellent. That's the key to any successful operation is having a wonderful staff and I feel like the staff here is really...I've visited many libraries in other towns and this library has something that not most libraries have and it's a very caring staff; a very helpful staff and they've been that way for me for many years.
4) What's your favorite thing about the library?
My favorite thing would be the staff. The staff is what makes this library, in my opinion. It makes it stand out from other libraries that I've been in because the staff is so helpful and of course, I love to read and I grew up before computers were the thing and they (the staff) are just wonderful to help me with the computers and I can't say enough for them.
5) What is your favorite book?
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. It's wonderful. I read it every day and it's something that you never get tired of. Now, I have other favorite books, but this is the one I stick with. I love it; it's just a wonderful devotional for me.
6) What made you want to accompany our staff at the Capitol in 2017?
Because the library here is so superb. The staff here, I want to go and support them and that's what I did. I really wasn't on the staff, but I joined them and held signs. Anything to make the library better, that they needed, that's what I was there for. I just took a day of time to go up there. I enjoyed it and had a wonderful time with all the staff there that day. I thought we were accomplishing a worthwhile task.
7) Do you go to programs? Which ones? Why do you like them?
Yes. I had to miss the last one, but I'm glad Joe David Rice got rescheduled because now I'll get to go. He's a really interesting person and he's a wonderful writer and he knows all about the state so I'm really happy to hear that I can go to this one. They have several programs that I feel are very worthwhile and I enjoy getting to attend them. I've learned a lot; they have a Genealogy Conference here once a year and that's very interesting.
8) Is there anything else the library can do for the community?
I don't know what it would be because this library, even the children love it. They love the nice activities that you all have for children and I think it's good that you're building that relationship with them at a young age. I really like that because they are our future and the staff does an excellent job working with the young people.