The Barker Center Library

By Louise Caccamise

On March 23, 2021, the John Knox Library was moved to the Barker Center. We look out on a beautiful lake scene and are in a well-lighted room. Since the move, many changes have taken place. Our entire library is now classified with labels on each book spine. This has made the location of books on the shelves easier to find for both patrons and volunteers. Because of the change in location, we have developed a “Books on Wheels” program, initiated by Florence Falter, which makes books easily available to residents in the apartments. Plans are now underway for inclusion of Oak View Suites in the program. A group of dedicated volunteers works at this each week.

We have added all books to the portal, an easily accessible way to obtain information on every book in the library via cellphone or computer. Authors, titles and subjects can be searched. Included on the portal is the library catalog for both the Barker Center Library and the Genealogy Library located in the Lake Fountain Vista Room in the Bay Apartment Building. There is a separate listing of the books in the whole Volusia County Library System as well.

By the library’s circulation desk, we have established a kiosk where patrons and volunteers can quickly use that electronic card catalog to find the same information on our library that is on the portal and individual computers. Miles Hardy was instrumental in bringing this to fruition along with his long-time work on the development of the portal.

In addition to almost 4,000 books, our library also contains audio-books and CDs, puzzles, newspapers, magazines and a small assortment of paperback books. There is a computer with internet availability and a printer. New books are constantly featured.

A focal point in our library is the wall behind the circulation desk where photographs taken by resident Bob Dunham depict the beauty of the grounds of John Knox Village. In the rear of the library we feature photographs of resident authors and we have a special section where their books are shelved.

Our library is not an independent organization, but is one of the components of the Residents’ Council Communications Committee. As such, the Library Committee works closely with the Communications Committee and through it with the Council. Standing rules for the library, after being approved by the Communications Committee, are voted on by the entire Council and set the framework for all library activity.

The chairman of the Library Committee submits a monthly oral and written report to the Residents’ Council through the Communications Committee. The Library Committee itself meets monthly with a written agenda and written minutes. These are placed on file with the Communications Committee. The Library Committee works as a group and individually to accomplish its goals. An annual budget is created by the library committee and submitted to the Communications Committee and ultimately voted on and approved by the Residents’ Council, so that all financial records are always public and in the possession of the Council. We also work closely with the JKV Foundation, which has helped the library with special projects.

We are looking forward to having six beautiful panels of stained glass in the upper windows. This project is under the guidance of Kim Lary who is working with other talented residents. This group is small because of COVID, but the work is progressing. At its completion, we will feature the stained glass group in an article in a future issue of Village Life so that everyone can admire the work that is being done. When COVID subsides, we will have an open house so that all can enjoy the stained glass group’s creations.

Our library dates to 1981 when resident Charlotte Smith, a former head librarian at Stetson University, set up the first library. In the intervening 40 years, many volunteers have worked to maintain it. Some have been retired librarians and others have simply loved working with books. But each have left their mark and added to the mosaic. We thank each of our volunteers for their contributions to
our library.