GETTING TOGETHER: Lindsay Erickson, Tana Pageler, Caroline Pageler, Ben Pageler and Christian Kaiser talk about the book they have been reading recently as part of the Junior Book Club at the Waverly Community Library. The group, started by Chei Kaiser and Erickson, meets on Sunday nights at 7 p.m. (Staff Photo by Anna Boggs)

WAVERLY – The popularity of the Waverly Community Library continues to grow, and so does its annual spelling bee as part of Waverlyfest.

This will be the fifth year that the library will host a spell off on July 4. This Thursday afternoon’s spelling bee takes place at the First United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. There are both young children and adult competition levels.

Waverly Community Library Board President Murleen Bellinger said the event doesn’t draw a big crowd, but there are one or two more each year.

“It’s growing every year,” she said.

Bellinger said the idea for a spelling bee came from one of the library’s volunteers, who is an English teacher. She said the activity is a way to take part in the Fourth of July activities and help bring awareness to the community about the library.

The Waverly Community Library is housed in a room at the Waverly Community Foundation’s Social Hall and was created in 2012.

Volunteers for the young library are trying to bring more awareness to what it offers.

“There’s still people in the community that don’t know we exist,” Bellinger said.

The library has a variety of books, reference materials and other resources. Its collection currently stands at about 6,000.

“We slowly grow every year,” she added.

Right now, the library has lots of children’s books.

Bellinger said the library will be adding to the collection for adult readers but first need to get through a computer software transition.

The library has a computer that can be used by the public too. Waverly residents who do not have access to a computer at home or at work can go to the library.

There are other services too, like the bridge lessons that were recently offered. Those attending the class learned to play the card game and now there is a bridge game going on at the library every Monday afternoon.

A robotics session for kids just wrapped up at the library and another one is scheduled staring July 8. There is also story hour for the kids, both during the school year and the summer.

A junior book club meets regularly too.

Bellinger said it is tough because the library must rely only on donations to keep the doors open, but there is a good group of volunteers that make it happen.

“We have one librarian who is very part time and the rest is all volunteers who take two hour shifts,” she said.

The library is closed on Tuesdays and over the weekend, but tries to keep a regular schedule the other days.

The library, she added, also has a good list of substitute volunteer who are willing to help out if someone can’t pick up their scheduled shift.

As to money for operations, the board does its best to bring awareness about that need as well.

“It’s all from donations and our fundraisers,” Bellinger said.

There is a $10 fee to enter the spelling bee, but the library has several major fundraisers during the year.

One of those fundraisers will be changed up a bit this year. The wine and cheese party that has been in April in the past is scheduled for Sept. 15. It will still happen at Deer Springs Winery.

Also happening later this fall will be the Holiday Tour of Homes. Bellinger said this fundraiser has become a Thanksgiving tradition and is one that is well received by the community.

The library also now receives funds through the Give to Lincoln Day. This year’s contribution from that was $3,000,

For more information about the Waverly Community Library and its programs, contact the library at 402-786-0248.

The library also has a website,, and a Facebook page.

For Thursday’s Spelling Bee, ages 8 to 12 will be testing their spelling skills starting at 2 p.m. Ages 13 plus begin at 3 p.m.

Regular library hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays; 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays; and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays.

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