Photo by Brett Nachtigall/Fall River County Herald-Star
On a cold afternoon earlier this month, members of the Xi Phi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi stand in front of the sorority’s new Lending Library, which is located near the parking lot of Kidney Springs along Minnekahta Avenue. Pictured from left are members Kathy Schuman, Judy Thies Karen Bent and Tari McClung. Members not pictured include: Debbie Shannon, JoAnn Norton, Cindy Donnell, Jan Becker, Barb Beery, Pat Cerney and Jeanette Rail.
HOT SPRINGS – Some members of the Xi Phi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi recently gathered at the site of the group’s new Lending Library, near the parking lot of Kidney Springs at the bottom of Minnekahta Avenue in Hot Springs.
According to sorority member Judy Thies, the idea for the Lending Library came about during one of their meeting this past summer regarding a project for the group to take on which would enhance the community.
“JoAnn Norton suggested a Lending Library,” Thies said. “She and her grandson had been enjoying one in Jackson Hole when she went to babysit. So the idea was hatched that this would be something we could do.”
Thies said that sorority member Cindy Donnell then offered her property as a location for the library. Local Elks Lodge member Dusty Bellew was then contacted to make the box, and then fellow community member Kelvin Lorenz offered to put the Lending Library up and poured a very sturdy cement base and installed the Library Box, along with another wooden box which can be used for announcements and instructions on how to utilize the Lending Library.
“Each of our members signed up for a month to keep the Library stocked with books and general care of the Lending Library,” Thies added.
The “Little Free Library,” as its also known, is a free book-sharing box where anyone may take a book. You do not have to return the book when you are finished reading it. If you have a book you would like to donate, you may leave it when you take a book. You do not have to leave a book to be able to take one.
The Xi Phi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi has been a part of the community of Hot Springs for many years, with most of the projects in which they take on revolving around children and other things which benefit the community as a whole.
“One afternoon recently, a few members from our chapter helped to wrap Christmas gifts for the Southern Black Hills Realtor for Kids and their Christmas Wishes project,” said Thies. “We also found out that there was a real need at the Hot Springs Schools to help provide food and other basic necessities to some students. We made a monetary donation to that project from our Chapter and then also individually donated food to help students over the two-week break for the Christmas Holiday. There is an ongoing need there and if any other group or individual wants to contribute it would be much appreciated.”
Thies also said that over the years, their group has also made donations to the Hot Springs Food Pantry and to the local WEAVE group. “We are always looking for worthwhile local community projects in which to donate time and money,” she said.