I had the pleasure of speaking to the Northwest Rotary Club last week. The last time was when we were still in our temporary location at Annaville Elementary School in 2006. It's hard to believe that it has been almost two years since we reopened our enlarged library on October 6, 2007.

July was literacy month emphasis for the Rotary Club, thus their wanting to know what was going on at the library. I'll share with you the same statistics I gave them for the Summer Reading Club. We had a total of 709 registered with 412 completing their goal of 10 books or 500 pages.

There were 67 programs with an attendance of 1,865. Now you can see why Miss Jean always takes a well deserved vacation when the Summer Reading Program is over. Our branch came in first in the number of completions, percentage of completions and number of programs. Neyland Library had more registered (947) and more attending the programs (2,096) as did Garcia Library with 2,028 participating in programs.

Rotarian's start their meeting off with the Pledge of Allegiance, a blessing of the food and reciting their 4-Way Test. As I recited it with them it made me think how basic and simple it would be to abide by it and practice it in all walks of life.

Actually it has some of the same principals that most of were taught by our parents and in church when you think about it. This is their "4-Way Test of the things we think, say, or do:

Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?"

We hear national and local news about the poor ethics in business and governments and a need for improving ethics by creating or improving policies. Am I being too simplistic to think that if these principals along with honesty, treating others as you'd like to be treated, going the extra mile (good customer service philosophy) were practiced that you wouldn't need detailed do's and don'ts?

It does seem that basic honest practices such as these are so easy, yet have been just as easily forgotten or forsaken. Okay, you can tell I've gotten on my soap box again. How can I relate this back to a library column subject?

Your public library is still the best place and the best bargain in the world for starting and continuing a life long education that can benefit you and your family. Nurturing and developing a love of reading enables everyone to explore the physical and philosophical world of the past, present and future.

Reading different thoughts, questioning different thoughts and forming your own thoughts on whatever subject you choose is a great freedom that we have. No one is coercing you, except perhaps the author, but you have the freedom to read the other viewpoint(s). If you bring the books back on time and don't damage or lose them you never have to pay to read a book.

In case you haven't heard, for the past year we no longer charge the twenty-five dollar fee for a non-resident card (outside the Corpus Christi city limits). Can you find a better bargain today? Remember we still have a lot of popular family entertainment available in VHS videos; DVD's and books on tape and CDs.

Speaking of which, we have scheduled their big new exhibit for the month of November. You'll be hearing more about this and a program for children and youth.

We will have a Beginner's Nature Photography class with a photo contest in our fall line-up of programs.

Lynda Whitton is the children's librarian for the Northwest Branch Library in Corpus Christi. Readers may contact her at 241-9329.