Mary Jo Ruppert
I suppose I could write about the snow. How early it is. How pretty it is. How Mary Borgheiinck would have loved it. But somehow snow this early in October doesn't really thrill me although it raised enough curiosity that I looked on the Internet to see when the earliest snowfall in Iowa occurred.
According to mesonet.agron.iastate.edu, there is no exact or official answer to that question. In the modern era, Sept. 25, 1942 could be considered as the earliest date in the fall of accumulating snowfall.
Up to four inches fell that day with nearly all of the state seeing something. However, there was an earlier event back on Sept. 16, 1881 when snow accumulated over the western half of Iowa and four to six inches was reported between Avoca and Stuart. There was also a report of a few flakes on Sept. 6, 1929 near Alton.
The point of sharing this information is to demonstrate how easy it is to find answers to questions these days. Before the Internet we would have been looking though almanacs and calling our library service area for help. Now it is just a few mouse clicks away. And that's great for those who know what a mouse is, how to click it and where to search.
For those who don't know or don't care about surfing the net, the library staff is still the number one source for information.
Although we don't do the heavy reference we used to, we still have our share of inquiries.
We gather song lyrics, find odd bits of trivia, locate current medical information and help set up email accounts among other things. We also do a good business in finding addresses, phone numbers and zip codes. The key, as always when using the Internet, is to know what is and isn't a reliable site. Sometimes that can be very hard to discern and we're glad to help. All it takes is a phone call to 225-3498.
On another subject, the Friends of the Library are gearing up for their 2010 basket project. We have had a few baskets turned in and we're looking forward to seeing many others. Baskets can be dropped off any time the library's open.
They will go on display after the first on November with final bids being taken on Saturday, Dec. 5. And although I am never one who needs to see a lot of snow, I would be fine with the white stuff if it's falling then.