Library hosts U.S.-themed exhibit in July
DENVER – Arlinda Sherard often tells her three grandchildren, “Look, Don’t touch,” when they are near her plate collection. She’ll say the same thing to the Denver community when she puts them on display at the Shanklin Library.
Sherard began collecting Spencer Gift Calendar Collection Plates in 1976.
“I was looking for something to remember our country’s 200th anniversary,” Sherard said. Sherard’s first plate shows a bald eagle, the U.S. flag and the dates 1776-1976 to recognize America’s bicentennial. Each plate is bordered by a calendar on the rim.
Spencer Gift makes patriotic collectable plates to show a part of American history.
Sherard has collected 10 more plates since 1976. She purchased one each year for 9 years around the Fourth of July out of the Spencer Gift catalog. She stopped receiving the catalog in 1985 and her collection was put on hold.
Then in 2008 she purchased a plate with a picture, of President Barack Obama. It says, “Change Has Come” and “Historic Victory” below the photo. It’s not a Spencer Gift plate, but it still holds a key role in Sherard’s collection and American history. Sherard said she just had to buy the Obama plate right away when she heard one was for sale.
Sherard keeps her collection on display in her Denver home. As her collection grew larger, she had to push it aside again and again.
“I don’t want to sell my plate collection,” Sherard said, “I will pass it down to one of my children.” Sherard and her husband, Alvin, have two children, Alvin Sherard Jr., 39, and Amanda Russell, 31.
“I like how this collection makes my mom happy,” Amanda Russell said. “I hope she hands it down.” Amanda lives in Denver with her husband, Travis, and their two boys. “We always go see her collection when it’s on display.”
Each month, a new person from the Denver area puts up a display at the Florence S. Shanklin Library, on Fairfield Forest Road. “We have been allowing collections to be here for eight years now,” said Jackie Shaw, library branch supervisor. Collectors contact the library and display their work.
This is the fourth year Sherard will display her collection.
“We’ve always gotten good responses on her collection. She does it at a great time of the year, right around the Fourth,” library assistant Peggy Jordan said. “It’s a very nice display.”
“I love my collection,” Sherard said. “I love to have this to show my grandchildren.”
Sherard said she has great pride in our country and a desire to display its history. After teaching at the Mini Academy preschool in Denver for nine years, Sherard retired last year to go back to school. “I don’t think it’s ever to late to go back to college.”
Sherard attends Gold Hill Church in Lucia, where she is a Sunday school teacher and in charge of the youth choir. She is also a deaconess, sings in the choir and takes care of the prayer ministry at Joshua Ministry Church.
Want to go?
Arlinda Sherard’s plate collection will be in a showcase near entrance of the Shanklin Branch Library, at 7837 Fairfield Forest Road, through the end of July.