Rusk Public Library celebrates biggest supporter

by By Cristin Parker

One Rusk resident has gone above and beyond to show the Rusk Public Library and the rest of her community some love and affection.

Rusk resident Jeanie Swink has been involved in Rusk Public Library programs for at least five years, according to Library Director Amy Rinehart.

“We love Ms. Jeanie,” Rinehart said. “We’re so grateful she’s taken an interest in the library and lends her support in so many ways. Our community is so much richer because of her and her generosity.”

Swink explained her devotion to the library in a post on her Facebook page.

“As stated in the article ‘Public Library: The Soul of a City,’ “A public library defines not only the city in which it sits, but the state of the society that created it,” Swink said. “Our library is an excellent reflection of Rusk.”

Some of the projects Swink has lent her support to include the library’s GED program, the annual Thanksgiving Community lunch and the Christmas Santa house. She also supports the Rusk Chamber of Commerce, Heritage Center of Cherokee County, Cherokee Civic Theatre, as well as the Rusk Police Department’s National Night Out.

She recently donated several pieces of playground equipment, including some specialized for disabled children, to the library for Jim Hogg Park. She’s also responsible for the recent addition of a children’s airplane, located in the library’s Children’s room.

“The kids really enjoy sitting and reading or just taking flight,” Rinehart said. “Seeing all those beautiful smiles on our youngest patrons just warms your heart.”

Swink said in a Facebook post, “It’s perfect in the children’s room! I was worried that it wasn’t durable enough for Jim Hogg Park, but it was so cute I just couldn’t resist.”

Rinehart said the library is in the process of getting a commemorative marker dedicated to Swink placed at Jim Hogg Park, thanking her for her support and donations.

“It’s just a tiny, tiny token of thanks to her for everything she does for us and the rest of our community,” Rinehart said. “It’s definitely not enough – nothing could be.”