The Ottumwa Courier

December 24, 2012

Eldon Librarian helps smiles circulate

Christmas tree built out of books brings cheer to residents

MARK NEWMAN
Courier Staff Writer

ELDON — While parents, teachers and librarians will tell you there’s lot’s of fun to be had with books, there’s one use they may not have thought of: construction.

Suzanne Streeby, director of the Eldon Public Library, wanted to do something special for their upcoming open house. So she built a 5-foot-tall Christmas tree out of books.

Including the table it’s mounted on, the book sculpture this year stands just under 8 feet tall.

“We’ve received a lot of ‘Likes’ and comments on my Facebook page,” Streeby said from behind the library counter around noon Saturday. “People have been very positive. I’m going to do it again next year, only bigger.”

She saw the idea days ago in a librarian newsletter she gets by email. The next day was  the “Christmas in Eldon” event. She decided to go for it.

Two step stools, two hours and a whole lot of books later, the Eldon library had a fitting Christmas tree, watched over by a bust of William Shakespeare.

If she had to guess, she’d say there were at least 150 rarely checked out books. And yes, she said, a patron did ask for a book that may have been the “stump” of the tree.

That request gave staff a brief “uh-oh” moment, since yanking a single book out from the staggered pile was probably not a good idea.

Luckily, that wasn’t the book.

“I told them if that was it, they’d have to wait a couple days — at least until after Christmas,” Streeby said.