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Betty Jane Korhaus hopes to give Missionites a new book to read.
Korhaus, originally from Iowa, has been living in Mission for 21 years. Prior to her and her husband’s move to the Valley, Korhaus served as a librarian for over 30 years.
“I love to read,” Korhaus said, noting that was the reason she became a librarian in the first place.
Armed with a plethora of books, Korhaus felt the need to distribute them to anyone who was interested in reading something they never have before. When the clubhouse at Valley View Estates was closed in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Korhaus missed the community access to books and puzzles.
“People have no access to the books or puzzles or anything like that,” Korhaus said. “And I thought, I’ve always had a lot of books in my home, and I just thought I’d get them all together and have them in my garage.”
Korhaus set up a makeshift library in her garage, filling it with hundreds of books, various puzzles and movies from her personal collection. She opens the doors at noon, and keeps them open usually until 8 p.m.
“I also have an area for people to sit and read or visit, whatever they like,” Korhaus said. “It’s open to anybody that goes by.”
At 91 years old, Korhaus is proud of her family and her health, which she credits to God being good to them. So far, the retired librarian has given out about 100 books.
“Anybody that goes by, they stop and look at the books,” Korhaus said. “I don’t require them to bring them back – I ask them to trade or bring others in with them, but it’s not required.”
Residents are always taking walks around Valley View Estates, which Korhaus enjoys because she enjoys the amount of space the area affords. The Korhaus library has books of every genre, especially mystery novels.
“I just figured it’s going to keep people reading and it brings a lot of questions,” Korhaus said. “Anything I can help them with, I will try.”
Currently, Korhaus herself has been reading the mystery works of James Patterson.
“I have at least a hundred more books here,” Korhaus said. “People do like mystery books, and I can usually tell them any mystery books worth reading.”
Korhaus is located in Valley View Estates, by the Incredibowl in Mission. Those interested can go down Ragland Rd. to the clubhouse on Vernon St., turn left, turn left again at the alley and find her home, where the garage is usually open.
“I enjoy seeing all kinds of people,” Korhaus said. “Most people will stop and ask if they can take them or check one out – I tell them they can just have it. It keeps people reading.”
Korhaus said it’s important to keep reading.
“I just feel like, the more you read, the more you learn,” Korhaus said. “The more you learn, the better off you are.”