There are many things I love about this rural area I have come to call my home. One of our greatest treasures is our library. Run almost entirely by volunteers, it’s the one in which we hold our WordPress meetups. Yesterday it moved. Not by itself, of course. And not the building, really. To be more precise – the contents of the library were moved by community members on Nov 17, 2015.
CJ, Hudi and I showed up at the requested noon hour to find a room filled with adult volunteers. We were given a game plan regarding how we would help move approximately 46,000 items from the old library to the new building.
Then the real heroes showed up. As I glanced up the street on the blessedly warm, sunny day (a true gift because it could have been snowing and/or raining at this time of year) I saw a stream of kids heading toward the library. That’s right. Kids. About 120 middle school students walked down the hill from the school, along with their teachers, ready to help.
Muscles, energy and cheerful attitudes melded together to create super moving machines as we worked as a unit to schlep the books from one building to another. That’s .17 miles each way.
Kids entered the library one-by-one and were told where to go by an adult volunteer. When they were sent to nonfiction, they made their way to me, and I piled books in their arms, being careful not to overload them.
Now I don’t want to ever hear anyone tell me that kids are lazy and don’t know the value of work. Kid after kid came to me, requesting that I add more books to their pile, echoing a line I became familiar with as the hour progressed: “Load me up. I help haul firewood at home. I’m used to this.”
And that was not a mis-type. I meant hour. Maybe an hour and a half, but certainly not two hours. Those amazing kids and adult volunteers moved all the items. All 46,000-ish items. Just wow.
It was inspirational.
My favorite parts of the day?
- Seeing all the volunteers who showed up during a busy work day.
- Watching the crossing guard and two police (who were there to make sure the kids crossed the street safely) interact with the kids who were begging to see their tasers 🙂
- Listening to a student aide who was sitting in a quiet corner with a special needs child, reassuring him and saying that she was really proud of him for the two trips he took.
- Checking out the titles of the books I was passing off. Making lists of new ones to read and falling in love again with books I have read and appreciated. Then getting to tell the kids about them.
- Seeing how the process opened the kids’ eyes to the treasure of the library as they learned about all the library had to offer. I heard an adult volunteer explain what sci-fi (science fiction) was, and I heard kids comment on special moments they had in areas in the library in the past. “Will they have nice little nooks in the new library?” was one of the best questions I was asked during the day.
There was one girl who summed up the day as I thanked her while she was walking out with her 7th or 8th stack of books. She shrugged and said, “Hey, we’re Fillmore. We do whatever it takes.”
After donuts and cider, the kiddos headed back to an assembly at school, excited over the prospect of seeing their principal get slimed.
Who knew being part of history could be so inspiring and so much fun?