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December 12, 2019: The Bright Lights Book Project: Gaining Momentum

A few weeks ago I said that the Bright Lights book project had traction. This was on a day when it was icy out. I’d say now that it has momentum. Beep beep, we are coming through.

Today the designated activity involved doing a secondary sort, which is taking the books we had on hand and categorizing them. Bill Schmidtkunz was already working hard on this aspect of the project when I got there at 12:30 p.m.

Behind every joke is a half-truth: I at one point remarked that the sign of a successful, ongoing project is a crisis or two. Crisis is too strong a word. How about obstacle? Yes, this a better word. The first one centered around the activities of the shredders. We have just been working once a week, so the shredders have kept pace with us. They are a fun bunch, Lorri, the special student coordinator and those she works with. They’re all upbeat and happy. I just need to keep them in books, and at the same time I need to keep the better books out of their hands.

Fortunately, Pete showed up later in the afternoon and took on the job of chief sorter. And so the shredders soon had enough books on hand to keep them busy.

Bright Lights Book Sale Flyer
Bright Lights Book Sale Flyer

Well, they were low on books and I had to stop for a bit and do some preliminary sorting, just to give them something to do. This left Bill with the secondary sorting activity. The second obstacle that presented itself was that the floor workers indicated that they needed some of the space that the books were taking up. So Bill and I had to work hard and fast, getting the categorically sorted and the non-categorically sorted books (in cardboard boxes) onto pallets.

It just occurred to me that we’ve now gotten the unsorted boxes, which were previously in the chest high carboard boxes into smaller boxes. Now the floor guys have what they most wanted – all the chest high cardboard boxes. They will use these for other things.

We were okay for today, but we are going to need to find a place to store our stash.

VCRS Director Steve Brown took me out to the warehouse, where there are literally dozens of chest high boxes filled with books. We might work in there. I am itching to get at those boxes and begin sorting, but I was told today that the books in these boxes are going to be “sent out.” I did not ask where, when, why, or how. I just hope I can get to them before they are moved out. Problem is, there is just one of me and I can only work so fast.

Momentum did come in the form of assistance, from Bill, Pete, and other fellows, one fulfilling a community service requirement. They repeatedly stopped whatever they were doing and were assigned to work with us. Both started looking at, and selecting books – books that I didn’t think that anyone was going to be interested in. This was well and good, but I learned that in the future I am going to have to focus on keeping whoever is working on task. We have so little time, and so many books.

My good friend Terri Mielke also put in an appearance, and we talked books and horses for a long, long time. I had a handful of books on hand for her, and she found a few more.

Momentum – the project is taking shape. After my Saturday exam, I’ll put more energy and time into the Solstice Sale. Right now, I feel like my hands are tied behind my back.

Saving the world, one book at a time.

Next: 344. 12/13/19: For the Love of Pete

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