Friends of the Library Annual Meeting

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Mary Novey, President of the Friends of the Library, and Dan Moris, documentarian, pose in front of a scene from “Life on A River Town: Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.”

By Melissa R. Collum

 

The Friends of the Prairie du Chien Memorial Library had their annual meeting on Tuesday October 4, 2022 at the Library. Mary Novey, organization President, gave an overview of the purpose of the Friends. The organization, which operates under the Library Board, was founded in 1997 with the purpose financially supporting the goals and mission of the library. Recent projects include purchasing new blinds for the upstairs conference room and paying for the landscaping. One of this season’s projects is to support authors speaking at the library. Graphic novelist, Eric Gapstur, author of Sort of Super, is the next featured author on October 15 from 11a.m.-1 p.m. The Friends meet at 4:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the Library. All members of the community are welcome to attend. 

 The annual meeting special guest, Dan Moris, gave a talk about the behind the scenes making of the documentary “Life on A River Town: Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.” The Tourism Council brought forth the idea of making a ‘history documentary’ but wanted it to be more than just a history. One of Moris’ goals for the project was to have people relate to the film and learn from it. Having shot over 100 hours of footage, Moris was able synthesize it down to 35 minutes that are wonderfully reflective of the historic and current daily life in Prairie du Chien.

 “As I started the interviews, I did not know what story would be told” stated Moris. “I listened to the people in the interviews and it grew from there.” Moris wanted to show that while there are many things that are different from 150 years ago, there are also things that transcend time. “No matter how life changes around us, there are little pieces of history that are relived again and again,” commented Moris.

 Each of the three showings of “Life on the River” at Prairie Cinema were sold out! The additional showing at Prairie du Chien High school had over 400 people in attendance.  Since the September 28 release on UTube, it has close to 3,000 views. You can find the video linked the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce website.

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