This morning we got back on the bikes after a three-day break to visit Lawrence, Kansas, for our son’s and future daughter-in-law’s wedding shower. It was refreshing to spend time with family and to take time to heal our muscles. Today we were full of energy as we rode from Edwardsville, Illinois to Marthasville, Missouri, crossing the Mississippi and beginning our four-day journey on the KATY Trail.
70 miles into our 83 mile ride today, we took a short (and steep) detour to Augusta, Missouri. Augusta has a population of 318 people but also has seven wineries, six bed-and-breakfasts, a brewery, an antique store, and a spa—quite the tourist town. Many of these tourists are cyclists riding the KATY Trail and if they look at the sign near the trail that lists points of interest, they will see that this small tourist town has a place that provides free wifi, computer access, and a place to hang out—the St. Charles City-County Library, Augusta Branch.
At the library, we got to talk with library staff members Susan, Lisa, and Shawna. And before I write anything else, I want the world to know: THEY GAVE US COFFEE AND COOKIES. Highlight of our day. We also asked about library services available to non-residents. In the past, the library charged guests to use the computers but they changed this policy to better serve the general public. Now guest passes are issued with no fee and no ID required. They also provide wifi inside and outside the building, plus cookies and bottles of cold water. Their programming is attended by people throughout the county and they are expecting a group of Road Scholars to stop by the library this summer as they bike the KATY Trail. They also share information about what to do and see in the area, telling John and me about the Daniel Boone Memorial here in Marthasville.
Such creative and engaging programming at Augusta Branch. Selected programs include coffee and conversation on Thursday mornings; a knitting group on Thursday afternoons; and Susan coordinates a quilting group that meets once a month. The Summer Reading Program is off to a rocking start today with a patio party hosted by Shawna and the Lego Builders Group’s creations are on display along the tops of the bookshelves. During our visit a wide range of ages were on the computers, checking out books, and signing kids up for Summer Reading. A thriving library in a small town, supported by the community and surrounding area.
Thanks to Shawna, Lisa, and Susan for sharing their time and information about the library and area. Your hospitality was outstanding and very much appreciated.