Reading garden brings outdoor setting to library

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Walla Walla Public Library Reading Garden is now open.

The new Reading Garden at the Walla Walla Public Library, which offers a relaxed, outdoor setting to patrons, is now open.

Made possible by a $5,000 grant from the Sherwood Foundation, $1,000 from Friends of the Library, and patron donations, the garden transforms the patio at the east end of the library.

Designed by Becky Gwinn of The End Product landscape design company, it's the perfect spot to read, enjoy lunch, meet a friend or just relax.

The Reading Garden features beautiful plantings, brickwork and a calming fountain. There's even water for thirsty dogs.

It's almost the perfect setting -- what's missing is coffee!

Over the years, patrons have expressed interest in having coffee available. The library currently allows beverages in lidded cups and, so far, there's been no damage, so we want to further enhance the library's ambiance by adding a coffee vendor.

Everyone is aware of the public library's budget constraints, so the library is seeking someone who wants to invest in starting a coffee shop in a convenient setting with an already established customer base. If you're interested, contact me at bhudson@ci.walla-walla.wa.us or 524.4433.

And for something to read in the new setting, there's Anne Fadiman's "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down."

Whitman College donated copies of the National Book Critics Circle Award winner, published in 1997, to the library in order to involve the community in a discussion of the story.

The book is about a Hmong family newly immigrated to the United States from Laos and the miscommunications and clash of cultures when their child falls seriously ill.

Fadiman will visit the library Oct. 24 at 2:30 p.m. to discuss her book. Watch www.wallawallapubliclibrary.org.for details.

Beth Hudson is director of the Walla Walla Public Library.

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