Forest Public Library’s Christmas Tree...she’s the talk of the town

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

The Forest Public Library’s Christmas tree is unique, and has been quite the talk of Forest during the holiday seasons since making its first appearance in 2017. Known as Library Betty, the tree is a combination of a Christmas Tree and a mannequin, but there are few who visit the library without stopping to take a close look and photo of  Betty.

Forest Library Assistant Manager, Dianne McLaurin said that what started out as just an idea has grown into somewhat of a holiday spectacle. “We never knew that finding a $2 mannequin at a rummage sale would grow into something like this,” she said. “Since the moment we first put Betty up in 2017 she has been an attention grabber.”

One of the unique features about Betty the Christmas Tree is that she debuts a new dress ensemble each year for the holiday season. Last year she was dressed appropriate for a Florida Christmas party, and this year she is wearing clothes for a Christmas Ball.  

“When we first put it up we decided that we would dress her for specific events each time and it has just taken on a life of its own,” said McLaurin. “I don’t know for sure, but I hear through the rumor mill that Betty might be getting married next year.”

Members of the library staff said that Betty can be extremely temperamental during the dressing phase, but there is no doubt that once she is dressed and ready, she steals the show at the library.

There are numerous decorating trends and ideas during the holiday season that can catch your eye, and there is so much imagination associated with the Christmas season that it is easy to see how Library Betty came to be. The fascinating thing is how something that started out so simple can truly catch the imagination of everyone that crosses her path. What is clear is that both children and adults alike notice Betty.

“Adults look at it for a display and some want to take pictures and all the children just want to know where her head is at,” McLaurin said. One never knows what could draw attention but but what can be said for sure is that the ladies at Forest Library have hit on something special. 

McLaurin said that this idea is not an original creation and that there are numerous such projects that can be found on the Internet. “We have seen similar projects on Pintrest and different paces online, but we had never thought of creating one here until the $2 mannequin was found waiting to be discovered at the rummage sale,” she said.

The Forest Library has used creative imagination to take a bargain find and make it to something special for all those who visit the library during the holidays. The ladies at the library are truly exhibiting the creative nature that they look to teach every child that enters their doors.