In March of 1881 an energetic number of residents formed the Rural Improvement Society of Cottage City, a group whose mission statement of 99 words neglected to even casually mention its single biggest accomplishment. It elected officers with bold-face Cottage City names, and membership dues of $3 were payable at once or in installments. Members were residents and nonresidents and held meetings in August when the Camp Meetings were in session. In its first summer, the society voted to spend $50 for the “purifying and beautifying of Lake Anthony and Meadow Lake” — a really stinky place — and thanked Joe Dias for offering to pay for and plant 1,000 larch trees. The next year they continued to plant trees (20 elms along Lake avenue) and resolved, in 1883, to create public sentiment against unsightly back buildings, backyards and “other offensive sights.”

It’s biggest accomplishment? The society voted that a committee be appointed to investigate the possibility of a public library. By November bylaws were complete and requests for books made. In April 1884 a room was rented for $40 a year in the arcade where Sharky’s is today — the first commercial building built by the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company — that became our first library. By 1896 it contained 1,422 books that had been checked out 3,427 times (compared with 106,785 materials checked out in 2012). It was moved to the Eldridge Building (soon to be Edgartown National Bank) in 1907. In the 1930s it moved to what is now Conroy’s Apothecary and of course today, thanks to the impetus of the Rural Improvement Society of Cottage City, the Oak Bluffs Public Library is the treasure on Pacific avenue.

This past January acting director Sondra Murphy was appointed director and in rapid succession updated the mission statement (“Supporting community, building cultural awareness and providing access”), adopted a new logo, constructed an appealing new website, and essentially rebranded a revered institution that has indeed become its mission statement. In addition to what you would expect, the library has held a mini golf “fun raiser,” hosted free yoga classes, shown recent movies, held book drives and featured talks about a wide variety of subjects, including how the idioms of Yiddish and Jive enter the lexicon. Nelia and Amy, expats from the library under construction in West Tisbury, read to children several mornings each month. And the latest big news is that Zoe Pechter, former owner of Riley’s Reads (and another one of the nicest people on the planet), has joined the staff as children’s librarian having just received her master’s degree. Congratulations, Zoe — and warm thanks to Sondra Murphy and the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs. Meet Zoe at a reception with crafts and snacks for kids next Friday, June 14 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Mimi Davisson announces that Vineyard Democrats are jump-starting the campaign of the honorable congressman Ed Markey at Howes House in West Tisbury from 9 to 10:30 a.m. tomorrow. Volunteer, pick up campaign literature and contact for more information. Senator Markey has a nice ring to it — and yes, I’m partial. He’s a friend who’s effective and cool.

The First Baptist Church of Vineyard Haven offers youth worship Sunday at 9 a.m. for any Oak Bluffs folks interested in attending.

Take me out to the ball game; Tuesday June 11 is the Vineyard Sharks’ opening day — batter up!

Next Thursday Ted Box, who is building the scow The Seeker in Ernie Boch Park in Vineyard Haven, appears at the Oak Bluffs Library to give a boatwright lecture at 6 p.m.

Join chief curator Bonnie Stacy at the museum’s summer opening party next Friday, June 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. They plan to display the beautiful Tivoli Girl Album and I hope someone actually does play some of the songs.

Lagoon Heights’ Marvin Klein’s folks bought their lot from Elizabeth Bodfish (Eben’s wife) in 1949 and he has a copy of the quitclaim deed she signed — another one of Eben’s famous “Lots for little.” It is great that folks are so proud of their neighborhoods.

Hats off to the owners of the Greene’s block building that houses Jake Gifford’s Lazy Frog and B Tru for painting the building trim — green!

Apologies to Brenda Mastromonaco whose family history about Hilliard’s (Good Ship Lollipop on Circuit avenue) I got completely wrong.

“Love is a star that lights the night/Of life, and makes its fancies bright/As days of June with June’s perfume/A star that melts the clinging gloom/And makes the heart’s dark chambers light.” (Love is a Star by Paul Laurence Dunbar)

Keep your foot on a rock.