Margaret "Louise" Renault celebrated her 102nd birthday a bit early Friday with the staff at the Missouri River Regional Library, receiving the gift of a new library card and some MRRL surprises.
Renault's birthday is Thursday.
A Kansas City native, she said having a library card has always been important to her, and it was the first thing she did upon arriving in Jefferson City one year ago.
"My favorite thing is to be able to get the books I like so I can have something to read while I'm at home," she said. "Without having a library card to get my books, I would be lost."
Renault said she has always had a library card, and when she was younger, the library was where she did a lot of her research for school.
She emphasized having a library in the community is important for everyone to be able to access.
Nowadays, Renault loves to visit the large-print section, where she can find some of her favorite mysteries and romance novels. Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, James Patterson and Karen Kingsbury.
Renault was accompanied Friday by her daughter, Nanette Bailey, and her granddaughter, Cindy Dampf, who said library visits are some of her favorite outings.
"This makes her day. She enjoys getting out, and she loves to read," Bailey said.
Dampf added: "She picks up six to eight books every three weeks."
MRRL Director Claudia Schoonover was impressed Renault still considers having a library card a priority.
"You are really living proof that (you're) never too old to have a library card," Schoonover told her Friday.
In addition to her books, Renault left the library with some surprise gifts including pens, hats, notepads and a cellphone case — all personalized by MRRL.