Sunday, May 25, 2014

Today is The Day

I am still putting everyone to work for the Little Free Library. Alex made a sign announcing the opening event for the Library... it's today! Maria was more than happy to add a second sign, something to pique the anticipation. Books, lemonade, cookies? Only a shady spot and a pillow are missing for a perfect afternoon. Maria and I also printed labels, and book marks... Little Free Library has great resources, and links to more resources. Maria and I were labeling books, cutting out bookmarks, and making other preparations for the Bird House Library. We are Library Stewards! {That's fun to say.}

All of this library business, and anticipation has my mind buzzing, and frequently asking:

Q: Why? Why a library, why free stuff, and one-more-thing to do?

A: 1. We love making things, inventing, creating, pondering, and tinkering, and those Little Free Libraries are charming and creative. Their purpose and mission are inspiring, but the initial appeal was that first impression I felt: They look amazing!

2. When I was about Maria's age, I loved asking my mom for stories about her childhood. I wanted to close my eyes, and connect with her, imagine we were girlhood friends, and I loved hearing about her experiences, her loves, and interests. More than anything else my mom would tell me about her pet cat, and about walking to the library. The long walk to the library. She was growing up in a pretty rough section of Los Angeles, I'd seen those neighborhoods, and I was duly impressed with her resolve to get to those books she loved. And I still have the books, the special gifts, she gave to me, which I always loved with extra fondness, for coming from her.

3. My Grandmother, Eunice, can read more books in one week than I can cover in a year. She is voracious. Anyone who knows Eunice, knows that the best gift for her is a book, a book gift certificate, or a trip to a library sale. She only finished school through the eighth grade, and moved back and forth between Mexico City and San Antonio, Texas, for most of her childhood. But, she didn't let anything stop her from learning. She even went to college, much later in life, to see what that was all about. She showed us all that an education doesn't stop outside a classroom, and resources are all around us. I've been thinking of her, most of all, when working on our Bird House Library.

4. We moved around a lot, too, and finding a book source became an important part of settling in to new places. I remember my first library visits in Ramona, the thrill of applying for my own library card(s). We had a card in Hawaii, we visited the library in Esquintla, Guatemala... talk about "little!" Perhaps the most thrilling and awe-inspiring was the mobile library that came twice a month to our street in Oceanside, California. I loved those days when I would see the big truck pull up to the curb. It was cool inside, and full of books. It smelled good, and we were invited to check-out two books. Hopefully, I could remember where I left the last two books I borrowed, but the librarian-truck driver was never cross. It felt good to be in there, and I loved the idea of bringing all these books anywhere, anytime. What a cool job, I would reflect. Later, in my teens, I would follow my mom to her college job, when she was at UCSD... she worked in the labyrinth basement of the Main Library, a stunning edifice above, and mysterious, winding, and fascinating below.

5. Books. Books. They can inspire countless good things, and changes, they can counsel, and console, instruct, inform, invite... they are a tool, that when shared, can provide opportunities for learning, for grace, for laughter, for ideas, for adventure.

6. Community. We live in a place that has brought us powerful and pleasurable blessings of community. We have friends, support, a network of mentors, teachers, gardeners, artists, inventors, scientists, and students... we can all be students, and we can all share our love of books. I am very excited about building another connection to share with our community.

So, that's some of the whys for this project, for making a Little Free Library, and making a big to-do over our little endeavor. I've seen good things happen with books, for books, about books, and I am thankful, and I want to keep those good things moving forward.


judy in ky said...

This is wonderful. You are carrying on a tradition from grandmother to mother to daughter and beyond. The little library idea was new to me and I heartily approve. What a worthwhile project! I love Maria's addition… lemonade and cookies. My own father was a voracious reader; he always had a stack of library books by his chair.

pampooh said...

What a wonderful, creative family to be part of!!! I, too, love books and have such fond memories of my Mom taking me to the public library. I became an elementary school librarian. I am newly retired, and you really made my day with your Little Free Library!!! I still love sharing books with little people!

warren said...

This is magnificent!