PAT SCHOGGINS, left, and Bryan McIntyre carry a garden bench to the new outdoor reading area at the El Dorado County Library in Pollock Pines. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene


A place to read

By From page B2 | June 04, 2014

Remember sitting under the spreading branches of a tall tree, book unfolded as the characters came to life, letting the afternoon drift by as you read until your mom called you to dinner?

Recapture that youthful experience in Pollock Pines — where there are plenty of tall trees — and now there is an outdoor reading area waiting to take you away.

The community has been hard at work creating the outdoor reading area at the town’s quaint library and by the end of summer will have the enchanting space completed.

The Library Outdoor Reading Area, or LORA as it is fondly referred to by those involved in its creation, provides a safe and comfortable outdoor space where both children and adults will find a soothing atmosphere for not only reading, but for crafts, study and other work. The space has sturdy, permanent seating and tables, including not only chairs but stone benches and tables.

“We completed Phase 1 of LORA last year with the construction of a short fence, arbor and gate in front of the library,” said Becky McIntyre, a member of the Pollock Pines Friends of the Library.

Becky’s husband, Bryan, did most of the work on the charming wooden fence that circles the new feature, contributing his labors to the cause.

“Ken Inman helped out a lot,” Bryan McIntyre jumped in.

“Inside the fence, we are working on Phase 2 that will include the seating, surfacing and tables,” Becky continued. “There will also be landscaping and irrigation to make the outdoor area a truly useful and appealing area for the community. In addition, to make the library more accessible to those with disabilities, we plan to replace the current dirt walkway from the Pony Express Trail side with a surface friendly to wheelchairs, walkers and strollers.”

Along with the volunteer hours contributed by members of the Friends of the Library, the Dogwood Garden Club has graciously assisted, and the fully completed LORA should be ready for readers by the end of August.

Additional help still is needed for some of the construction, however, and those who might be able to assist may contact Becky McIntyre at [email protected]


Big project

Lots of fundraising has been involved in bringing the project to fruition, the most recent being the highly successful Spring Fling Tea that saw a great turnout at the Smith Flat House in Placerville.

The event featuring impressive raffle prizes and donated auction items was a sellout at $35 a ticket.
It comes as no surprise that the fundraising tea saw such enthusiastic support, as Pollock Pines residents have been supportive of their library since its inception in 1951.

The first library in the community some 13 miles east of Placerville was begun on the shelves of a coffee shop run by Doris Cloherty. She actually kept the library open at night, bringing her children with her. When the coffee shop eventually closed, Cloherty asked El Dorado County Librarian Edith Gantt whether there wasn’t some way to establish a permanent library in Pollock Pines.

Lumberman and community philanthropist Harvey West donated a small building on the site of the present library, and as the community grew, West was asked whether the building could be expanded to meet the greater needs.

“Wouldn’t it be better to make a new one?” West reportedly responded, and so the building that exits today was built in 1960.

The structure stands on land that was donated by Otis and Myrtle Carr.

The 1,200-square-foot Pollock Pines Library at 6210 Pony Express Trail might not be mighty in stature, but it is a mighty fine addition to the community, according to residents of the mountain town at the foot of the Sierra. It’s knotty pine cabin-like interior is filled with more than 16,000 items, of which the townspeople make great use.

“Once we have everything completed, there will be a stamped concrete path leading to the outdoor reading area,” explained Mary Bourn, president of the Dogwood Garden Club that is known throughout the community for its work sprucing up the town and making residents proud.


A lot done

“So much community effort has been put into the project,” Bourn continued as she and the McIntyres, along with Friends of the Library President Lajunta Inman and Pat Schoggins, a member of both groups, showed off the progress so far.

In addition to the efforts of the Friends of the Library and the Dogwood Garden Club, many donations of materials and landscaping plants and trees such as Japanese maples have been greatly appreciated, said Bourn. The local Safeway and the Pollock Pines Rotary Club have been stalwart backers as well.

“Fully half the members of the Friends of the Library have contributed to the cause,” said Inman.

The area is open now to the public, with one of the stone benches already in place, having been the Eagle Scout project of Jeff Bertotti of Troop 454 back in 2006. Other wooden benches painted a deep pine green (naturally) will be added soon and all the final touches should be done by late summer — but the pleasant setting already beckons the avid reader or those simply wishing to relax.

You might not even hear your mama call.

Pat Lakey

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