More than just a place to borrow books
By Taylor J. Hale
ROSHOLT – The Rosholt Library has become more than just a place to borrow books.
Library Associate Patti Buehler sees the village’s library as a community space that fosters friendship and healthy living habits.
“I think that now that they have books online and everything, it’s important to find new ways to bring people into the library,” Buehler said.
One of the ways Buehler found to attract the public was establishing a Tai Chi class. She is an experienced student with more than 10 years of practice and wanted to bring something new to the Rosholt Library.
“I started the Tai Chi classes around four years ago, and they really took off,” Buehler explained. “I started to teach them at the Plover Library, too. The classes can get as many as 30 participants.”
The popularity of the classes drew in a steady crowd at the Rosholt branch, and Buehler started to see many of the attendees sticking around after the lessons.
“People would hang out after they finished the classes, and I thought we could make a ‘social hour’ event where people could just meet and talk,” she said.
The Rosholt Library Social Hour takes place every week, giving Portage County residents a chance to connect and stay active.
Wendy Grzadzielewski, an area local, has attended the Social Hour event since it originated roughly four years ago.
“I think nowadays, people have lost the art of conversation and community. They rely more on social media and texting,” Grzadzielewski said. “They’ve lost the art of communication, so I think things like this are extremely healthy for a community.”
The weekly Social Hour event offers visitors a free-formed hour of community togetherness. The group will sometimes work on crafts or have guest speakers to touch on subjects ranging from cooking to the grieving process. Attendees at the social hour have also hosted food drives for the Rosholt Food Pantry, turning the library from a simple media rental facility into a community hot-spot.
“It used to be books, right? Now libraries are evolving into community centers,” explained Joan Honl, Portage County Public Library board member. “I was so fascinated with Rosholt when I heard the folks kept on getting together, and I thought, what an evolution going on in communities and libraries.”
Rosholt native Dolores Anderson started to come to the social hour around two years ago, she is 87 and sees the group as a way to stay connected with the community.
“I love the togetherness of the people,” she said. “We get to see each other every week, where otherwise we may meet on the streets maybe once or twice per year — I’ve gotten to know many people very well. The more people you know, the better you are, the more well-rounded you are, the more forgiving you are.”
Buehler and her peers noted that all are welcome to attend the Social Hour event and that there is always room for more guests.
The Rosholt Library branch, located at 137 N Main St., also offers an adult book club and other unique opportunities for area residents of all ages. For more information, visit: https://www.pocolibrary.org/tags/rosholt, or call 715-677-4512.
Contact Taylor J. Hale at [email protected] with Portage County news and information.