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By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Over time, many public libraries have evolved to be the hub of the community. Friendly librarians, a wealth of information available through books and computers, and plenty of programming for all ages draw masses to libraries.
Well, at least that’s the case with the Needham Free Public Library.
The library has even evolved to become a spot for mini-golf, as proved by the indoor mini-golf course that came to the Community Room on January 23. On the rainy, dismal day, Joe’s Buckley’s Mobile-MiniGolf course provided endless entertainment for library-goers, with nine holes constructed out of modular foam pieces.But what would inspire someone to make his or her own mini-golf course to transport around the state?
“It was a college party,” Buckley answered simply. “A long time ago, me and my buddy were living together and decided to have a party. So, we turned the whole [house] into an 18-hole mini-golf course!”
The course was so well received at his party, where the holes were made from cardboard and duct-tape that 20 years later, Buckley decided to remake the course with heftier materials and share his crazy idea with the rest of the state.
Children and their caregivers rushed into the Community Room, where Buckley happily greeted them and sized the mini-golfers for their putter and let them choose a ball. Buckley even had thick, lightweight kiddie putters for the youngest library golfers.
“We usually have some kind of program or performer every month for the school-aged kids, or just after school,” said Children’s Department Supervisor Paula Dugan.
“I thought, in January, since it’s usually kind of cold or rainy or snowy, it’d be a fun indoor activity since the kids don’t get to play outside as much in the cold.”
Indeed, the rain ensured a day of playing indoors and brought almost 100 mini-golf players to the library in program’s first hour.
With each hole offering a different challenge (and a funny name) to the putters, the children found themselves excitedly chanting to play again when they finished the ninth hole, hoping to improve their scores and continue the fun.