It is just a fact of the human condition that we are never satisfied. That is true of our level of contentment regarding our home sweet home. Even for those who live in the communities we vacation in, a change of scenery just seems so necessary. 

In Crossett, a getaway is as close as the southern end of Main Street. 

That is where the Crossett Public Library sits, full of windows to worlds we might never set foot in but can enter through our imagination. A good number of you reading this column can remember when a trip to our library took you to the first block of Main and into the Paul Sullins Library. 

Walking through the front stained glass framed doors, the smell of the books met you first. Then the sight of the old card catalogue welcomed you. To the right of the card catalogue was the kids’ section where during the summer different community members and library workers would read to us Crossett kids.  

And then beyond that were rows and rows of the dog-eared pages and board straight spines belonging to the hundreds of books that took Crossett people outside city limits without leaving the zip code. 

Reading is important, and our library staff works hard to keep us at it, even updating the programs it offers to stay with the times. 

There is now an app you can download for your kids or have them download for themselves that tracks their summer reading progress, which seems like a good way to avoid the “summer slide,” when reading abilities decline over the summer months because of no practice. Information about the app is on the library’s Facebook page. 

We have also noticed a geocaching activity at our library, a large effort there to keep you informed on this year’s census — which determines funding in Ashley County for things like roads and sidewalks and othet government funded programs — and our Crossett history room, which is full of pictures from bygone fun like the Hurd Playhouse and other Crossett social groups. Our library is a hub for summer fun — when you’re not down at the Crossett City Pool, of course. 

But, it’s not just about fun. There are studies that show our nation’s prison system uses third grade reading scores to determine how many new cells it needs to build. Let that sink in — how well our children read before they are even 10 years old can determine the chances of them getting locked up. 

That is sobering. And it is why we at Crossett Parks and Recreation have teamed up with the Crossett Public Library to offer Tiny Free Libraries. Built by neighbor Bill Runyan, these tiny houses are being painted right now and will hold books chosen by Library Manager David Anderson that anyone can grab up and take home to read...for free! Once they go up, Mr. Anderson will register them on a national list that gets Crossett on the mouths and minds of people outside our borders. 

You will see them pop up around town,  the first one in front of the former Paul Sullins Library — the old Municipal Building on Main Street across from the post office. We can use more! If woodworking is your gift, build us a creative stand to house books. We will get it painted up and placed in a high volume area. Just call 870-500-0303 to let us know you are interested.  Together we can keep Crossett reading.

Other items of note in our department:

4Swimming lessons at the Crossett City Pool start July 6. We have four levels — beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert. Each level is taught in five sessions and costs $50 for all lessons. 

4AquaExercise night at the Crossett City Pool starts July 7 and runs every Tuesday evening throughout the season. 

AquaAerobics  is 5 to 5:45 p.m. 

AquaZumba is 6 to 6:45 p.m. 

AquaYoga is 7  to 7:45 p.m. 

Each class costs $6. 

4The Crafters Fair at the Crossett Farmers Market is back. Come shop local talent the last Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The Crossett City Auditorium board will start its meetings back in July. If you have ideas for shows you would like to see on the stage, let us know. 

Our “Dinner Under the Stars” event with proceeds going to the Auditorium refurbishment fund will be rescheduled once COVID mandates completely lift.

To get information about any of our events and programs or to share your ideas with us, just call 870-500-0303.

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