An afternoon of festivities was held at the Pine Island Library Wednesday to celebrate its 50th anniversary, along with the Friends of the Library's 30th anniversary.
Joan Spiegel began volunteering at the Pine Island Library in 1988. She said she was a principal in Connecticut and when she moved to Florida she wanted to continue to be in the schools, so she volunteered, which eventually led to her volunteering at the library.
"I always thought that the library was the hub of the island," Spiegel said, because everyone gathers there. "This is the hub of their life."
Friends of the Library President Vicki Morrison provided Branch Manager Randy Briggs with an original painting of the library during the 50th anniversary celebration at the Pine Island Library Wednesday afternoon.
When Spiegel first began working at the library, she said she volunteered three times a week, which included working the cert desk Wednesday evenings.
Now she volunteers every Thursday.
"I know what needs to be done," Spiegel said. "It's my time when I come in and volunteer."
Sheldon Kaye, Lee County Library System director, said they are so fortunate to have so many volunteers for the Lee County Library System.
"The foundation of this library system was volunteers," he said. "The real core of the library system is volunteers."
Throughout the years, she experienced a lot of changes, which she said were all for the better. Among those changes included where the office used to be located.
The office, she said, used to be where the computer area is now, which was surrounded by glass. Spiegel said they took part of the conference room and made it into an office.
She said the Friends of the Library, along with the library staff, are a wonderful group of people.
Over the years she was the president of the Friends of the Library, as well as the president of the Lee County Advisory Board.
Local authors filled the library to talk about their newest books during the celebration. Katie Walls, WINK News meteorologist, also made a special appearance to read to the Beacon of H.O.P.E. Students Achieving Success children later in the afternoon.
The youngsters had the opportunity to create crafts outdoors and individuals had the chance to listen to music performed by Kip Lawrence and also the Pine Island Elementary School choir.
"We are so pleased that you are here," Friends of the Library President Vicki Morrison told the crowd. "We are so grateful for a library on Pine Island."
Spiegel thoroughly enjoyed the celebration.
"I think they did a marvelous job," she said. "I thought it was wonderful."
Sheldon said the 50th anniversary celebration of the library was very special.
"This is a very special library," he said. "Always a pleasure to come out here."
Sheldon said Randy Briggs, the Pine Island Library branch manager, works very hard with a lot of affection to keep the library on many people's minds.
"He is tireless in sharing his pride in the library," he said.
Marilyn Graham, Lee County Library System manager of public relations, said the Pine Island Library began before the library system was put in place, which occurred in 1964. She said the library became apart of the system in 1964.
Ground was broken in December 1963 for the Pine Island Library, which is now the Museum of the Island, and the building was finished and dedicated in 1966.
There are 13 libraries that are a part of the Lee County Library System, which does not include the Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel library, due to them remaining independent.
"I'm looking forward to the next 50 years," Sheldon said. "I'm real proud to come out here."
Graham wanted to remind individuals that a library card also provides access to many resources, along with the opportunity to download items as well.