Twas the weeks before Christmas and all through the Sedalia Public Library, the garlands were hung on the mantles with care.
Patrons who visit the Library in the days leading to Christmas will see colorful decorations in every room of the historic Carnegie Library.
The building was the first Carnegie Library constructed in Missouri, and one of the few that still functions as a library. The original grant for the building was issued in 1899 and the building opened in July of 1901.
For Pam Hunter, director of the library, decorating the structure is a labor of love for all the employees, but especially for officer manager Stephanie Sneed.
“We knew we had a keeper when we hired her the minute we found out she could tie a bow,” Hunter said with a laugh. “Stephanie does so much for us here at the library and she does an incredible job with the decorations at Christmas.”
Sneed, who was hired by the library in May 2013, said each year she tries to do something a little different while still remembering that she is decorating a historic building.
“This year is the first year for our book village,” Sneed said. “We had a lot of books that had been purged from the collection that were no longer used so we wanted to try to do something with them that would be inexpensive, yet look nice.
“I played around with the colors and sizes of the books and created some houses out of them,” she added. “It was really something simple and they truly didn’t take a lot of time to make.”
The structures are made from a group of books tied together with colorful ribbon. An opened book forms the roof of each building.
Each house has a small paper door that Sneed found when she was looking through some old Christmas cards. She cut the doors out and taped them to the front of the books. Sneed placed the houses on white batting and added bottle-brush trees to complete the scene.
The other rooms of the library are decorated as well, including a case of paper ballerinas made by Children’s Librarian Amy Elvers.
“I really think the hardest part is hanging the garland down the staircase,” Hunter said. “We (were) doing that (Friday), and we hope to be done by Dec. 23,” she added with a laugh.
With more than 75 feet of garland to hang, it will be one of the final touches the women will make before Santa Claus makes his appearance at the library.
“Santa will be here to read the children a Christmas story,” Hunter said. “He will also spend time talking to all the boys and girls who come to see him that morning.”
Santa will visit the library at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484