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Residents turn pages on Library Week

Thumbing through some books on Greece, 9-year-old Morgan Sites, of Coal Grove, Monday got information she needed for her studies and made a new friend of the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library

"This is the first time I've come here in years, but she has a report due," her mother, April Sites, said.

Bringing in new friends - and reminding old friends just how valuable their friendship is - is the whole purpose of National Library Week, set aside to raise awareness of the importance

and benefits of public libraries.

"So much is available," Briggs Library Director Joe Jenkins said. "People may not be aware of what all we have. When people get the chance to stop by, I hope they will. We have not just educational resources but informational and entertainment resources. We have programs for children, teens, homeschoolers, seniors. Really, we have something for everyone."

Everyone including Steven Sites, of Ironton, who visits often.

"I'm here probably a couple of times a week," the Ohio University Southern student said. "I check out books, use the computer, do research for papers, I use pretty much everything they have."

The library even draws folks from across the river. Peggy Thomas and her daughter, Careena Harris, come from Ashland, Ky., to use the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library.

"We go to both libraries (Briggs Lawrence and the Boyd County Public Library)," Thomas said. "We're here all the time."

Thomas and Harris can count themselves among the 46,000 card holders who checked out more than a half a million items last year from the library's main location in Ironton and its four branches in Aid, South Point, Chesapeake and Proctorville.

"We encourage people to get a library card - we're giving it away free all week," Jenkins said. "And we're giving away a book at each branch at the end of the week."

Those who check out items at the library can have their name entered in the drawing for the books.