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Dickinson Public Library holds annual Christmas social

Friends and community members enjoyed Christmas cheer at the Dickinson Public Library on Friday night. (Iain Woessner/The Dickinson Press)

The Dickinson Public Library took time Friday evening to be sociable, opening its doors to friends of the library and members of the community to celebrate the Christmas season with music, finger foods and wine during the fourth annual Old Fashioned Christmas Social.

"Part of the idea is that (our platinum members would) get invited to special events, but they really weren't doing a lot of special events," library Director Rita Ennen said in explaining why she began what's now a holiday tradition. "I had just started here in 2014 and I said, 'If that's what we're telling people, we should really make good on this.' "

The event featured a spread of hors d'oeuvres and Christmas classics softly ringing out from a piano in the corner. A far table was laid out with donated items for a silent auction and prizes, with all proceeds from the items and a $10 ticket fee at the door supporting the Dickinson Public Library.

Ennen said these events help celebrate their membership and longtime support while at the same time getting the community involved in the library. The library's programming has expanded in recent years, broadening the scope of what it means to teach literacy.

"It's all part and parcel to that understanding that literacy only begins with learning to read and write," Ennen said. "People need to become literate in lots of other ways, like technologically literate. We help people who come and say, 'I can't apply for a job without a computer.' "

The library also offers science, technology, education, art and math activities (STEAM) to help children become fluent in all of these areas. Ennen also said the library's collections continue to grow and change.

"The foundation has purchased that property to the south of the building. We are looking at expanding out in that direction," Ennen said. "We do need more room for materials. One of the big things we want to see is the rest of our adult materials moved out from the lower level, which is the children's level of the library."

The lower level would then be dedicated to children's material and programming, she said, which would help ease the burden on other parts of the library.

Expanding the library would provide welcome space, Ennen said.

Ennen attributed the social's continued success to her staff and community volunteers.

"It's a whole lot of helping out," Ennen said. "The biggest thanks absolutely is foundation members and library staff. The library staff have gone above and beyond their usual jobs to help out with this."

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