GREENBRIER — The Greenbrier Public Library is one of the least known little hidden jewels in the city. It is free and a place to hang with or without your kids. Librarian Gail Polok and assistant Jake Whisenant are there to constantly help young and old with learning, reading, researching and just plain having fun. Handling hundreds of books a day is something they both enjoy, as well as planning special events.
Story time for pre-school children happens every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Special guests sometimes appear, like a magician, singers/performers, jugglers and even a mini-farm with live animals. Santa visited last year to the delight of young and old. Polok meets with all the librarians in the area to decide craft ideas that are regularly made in classes. You can see joy in the displays throughout the library. Some of the new events in the planning stages may include after-school movies with popcorn.
In addition to being the stopping off place for after school children, adults are sometimes lined up at 10 a.m. to make copies for ten cents (five cents if you bring your own paper), send faxes for one dollar per page, use one of the three public computers (for free) or just enjoy a quiet place to read and learn. Many use the library for job searching and networking. There is even a children’s computer not connected to the internet. Free adult one-hour computer classes are given about once a month. You can learn a new skill or refresh anything you once forgot. This is not a drone class where everyone learns the same. Whatever problem you have or want to review is the subject that is customized to your need. Connect Arkansas from Little Rock sets the dates and runs four one-hour classes for three people in each class from noon to 4 p.m. Call ahead to sign up.
Polok is a homemaker with two grown children. She assisted the former Librarian Judy Lovell who moved on to Conway as Assistant Director of the library system. Polok said, “Although we are small — not even room for a traditional card index system, we manage with a compact iPod. People can research the whole Faulkner County system to pull material in within a day or two. I absolutely love what I do. It’s creative and challenging, and I learn something new every day.”
Her new assistant Whisenant is a recent graduate of UCA with his degree in creative writing. In addition to handling little kids with crafts, he is an expressive story teller and writer. He is published with scripts and plays at UCA and Lantern Theater. He said, “With these new hours at the library, now I will have time to write even more. I love it.”
The Faulkner County library system recently expanded their hours to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Library cards are easy to order with a photo ID and proof of residency. There is no limit on the number of books you may check out for two weeks on new releases and one month on older books. DVD’s are available for one week. You can easily renew over the phone or sign up for a class by calling 501-679-6344. This little jewel-box is on Wilson Farm Road, right next to City Hall. Their Facebook page is Greenbrier Branch-Faulkner County Library. If you never knew they were there or offer so much, there are many new things going on. Now is the time to try them.