A number of years ago when Bob Steib was publishing "The View" -- an O.R. newletter prior to "The Island Times" this small article appeared.  Recently, Cathy Moon was asked to write an article about the Library for our History records.


By Cathy Moon



In the early days of the co-op, there were a few paperback books on a couple of shelves near the fireplace in the recreation hall. (Yes, there was a fireplace - a campground staple, to be sure, but not terribly useful in south Florida.) As more people made O.R. their home, they brought with them lots of books, far more than those shelves could hold. Shirley and George Burlingham moved into the community with a large collection of books, for which they assembled a set of bookcases. The newly expanded library became a book exchange (Bring a Book, Take a Book) that was available when the rec hall was open.  The problem was, this was not often.  The building was kept locked except when an established group held a scheduled activity.


Once residents began receiving mail in individual boxes in the newly renovated post office, the Activities Committee decided to move the library to that building (formerly Comfort Station 1), where all residents could access it readily. Herb Huth and Ray Smith built bookcases, and the library took over most of the south walls in the building. Soon hundreds of books filled the shelves - in no particular order. Your favorite author might be in there, but you might have to look through 300 titles to find him.


Shortly after the turn of the century (the 21st, that is), Polly Mansell and Cathy Moon decided to reorganize the books, so they could find titles they wanted. They enlisted help from Mary Pinsonneault, Nell Thompson, Barbara Papineau, Jim Moon and others and eventually segregated fiction according to authors and non-fiction according to categories. The Activities Committee supplied funding for still more bookcases, and today the library (now a lending library rather than a book exchange) has something for everybody: fiction (both hard-cover and paperback); non-fiction (including history, biography, self-help, politics, sports, and more); and a "special" shelf with an ever-changing assortment including large-print, children's, and seasonal titles, and even a few books-on-tape. There are also a few current magazines and lots of puzzles. The library committee (Mansell, Moon, Pinsonneault and whoever else they persuade to help when needed) try to keep the shelves in order and weed out soiled or damaged volumes. This is an ongoing task, but it affords them first crack at the new titles that are continually being donated -- not a bad trade-off for a few hours' work.


The O.R. Library also sponsors food drives twice each year - at Christmas time, as part of the annual Tree Lighting program, and in the spring, in conjunction with the mail carriers' annual drive. Hundreds of pounds of food are donated each year to the Treasure Coast Food Bank, through the generosity of Ocean Resorts residents. And the library is well used year-round, as residents gather daily to collect mail, browse the shelves and bulletin boards, and visit with neighbors.