The other day, I drove past the Neosho/Newton County Library and it brought back some great memories from my childhood.

The other day, I drove past the Neosho/Newton County Library and it brought back some great memories from my childhood.
What I remember the most is the former location, which was on McKinney and Jefferson streets – which was across from my Grandpa and Grandma Higdon’s home. When we went to town, we would stop at my grandpa’s house to visit and then around the time for story time, we would go to the library. You see, I had two aunts Robin and Michele, who worked at the library. Michele – who was a children’s librarian – would do the story time. I cannot remember all of the stories that she read to the children. I also remember that there were times that we had an incentive to read books. One year, the incentive was that if you read so many books, you got a certificate for a Happy Meal from McDonald’s. Now, that is an incentive for any child, but in the long run, it was a way for children to learn the love of reading.
My brother, Greg and I would also be able to check out books, take them home, read them either to ourselves or even have our parents read them to us.
Another instance that comes to mind from the library is when the library’s bookmobile came to area towns – including Newtonia. The bookmobile was a huge RV that had various subjects and titles of books for all ages. If memory served, the librarians who ran the bookmobile would park at a central location and the library patrons would come up, check out a book or two and then head back to their homes to read the books. I miss the bookmobile, maybe someday, it will come back.
Later on in life, we would be able to go upstairs of the library, where more of the reference books, and other books for adults could be checked out. That is where my Robin worked.
The library was also a great place to do research for term papers.
Both of my aunts worked in that library for more than 20 years each. I know that they enjoyed their jobs.
Libraries certainly have changed over the years. Nowadays, the library has changed somewhat, for instance, more and more people can go to their libraries and use the computers for Internet purpose or there are books on tape or DVDs that people can check out and don’t forget about the genealogy departments at some of the libraries. If I ever wanted to trace my family’s history, that would be my first stop.
The library moved a few years back to its current location at the intersection of Jefferson and Spring streets. Remember to use the library when you can. They are a valuable resource for all age groups.


Todd G. Higdon is the managing editor and writes a weekly column. He can be reached at thigdon@ neoshodailynews.com.