Friends of Lincoln Library column

Mother Goose may be an endangered species!
By: By Lora Finnegan Special to The News Messenger
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Rhyming, rhythm, and repetition.

Yes, those are the basics kids learn at the Mother Goose on the Loose program held each Thursday morning at the Lincoln Public Library. But one reason they keep coming back has to be gentle Betty Gordon and her snow-white goose.

Ask Betty Gordon what she loves about portraying Mother Goose at the library and her answer is always “the children.”

Indeed, the little ones love her, perhaps because she really looks the part. A sweet, grandmotherly type, Gordon has curly white hair tucked under a frilly “grandma cap.” Her maroon and teal dress is floor-length and edged with lace cuffs and a collar.

“I got my first period dress, much like this one, years ago when I played a pioneer woman at the High Desert Museum,” Gordon explained. “And it seemed the perfect kind of outfit when I started playing Mother Goose here at the library.”

“But it’s not complete without this,” Gordon said.

She chuckles when she shows me her amazing puppet: a downy white goose with a movable head.

Years of practice have taught Gordon how to hold the puppet and swivel its head so that youngsters are drawn in to take a closer look.

As Betty Gordon sits down in the library’s rocking chair, even the shyest child can’t resist approaching to touch the soft little bird puppet.

“The kids are so adorable,” Gordon said, her blue eyes lighting up. “And they sure love that goose!”

They must. One child “kidnapped” her puppet one time when her back was turned.

“But the youngster quickly brought him back,” she added with a laugh.

Children are the reason Gordon volunteers at the library.

“Libraries are so important and starting kids off at a young age to learn the beauty and wonder of books —that’s why supporting the Mother Goose on the Loose program is so critical,” Gordon said.

Open and free to children up to age 4 (with caregivers), the idea behind Mother Goose on the Loose is to get the kids ready to learn while having fun through verse, song, and playing instruments like a drum. It’s held Thursdays at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.


Let’s keep Mother Goose going

The Mother Goose program is funded by Friends of the Lincoln Library. And we thank all of you who have sent in donations already. But if we don’t meet our fundraising goals, and we’re not there yet, we can’t fund the Mother Goose program next year.

So let’s pull together, Lincoln! Don’t let down Betty Gordon and the children and families who love Mother Goose. Send a check to the Friends today for $25, $50 or $100. Mail it to Friends of the Lincoln Library, Box 394, Lincoln CA 95648.

Or donate via Paypal on our site,

Together, we can save this critical children’s program.

Don’t let Mother Goose become an endangered species in Lincoln!


On the Calendar

Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. - Friends General Membership Meeting, Willow Room, Twelve Bridges Library. Refreshments, library news, talk by author Bruce Robinson. Free.


This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. Contact the Friends at 434-2404, at or e-mail Lora Finnegan is a Friends of the Lincoln Library member.