It’s not enough to say, “build it and they will come,” because this statement, in and of itself, is simply wishful thinking. First, one must envision what’s to be, then when it comes about, envision what else might be. Growth and adaptation are key.
My vision began and has been sustained by what I’ve stumbled across – books of all kinds, on all subjects, in a single place. I wondered then, and I am wondering now, how is it that these books have materialized here, in Palmer, Alaska? I am also wondering if this has been going on elsewhere.
Painting a box at the Sutton Library
I decided last January to give the Bright Lights Book Project my all, and since, this is what I’ve been doing. Ideas have come to me, and I’ve simply acted upon them. The best example of this was the Sutton Public Library kids’ day. Bringing Hrimmi along with books in her pack, then talking about libraries, then having the kids paint the newspaper boxes/little libraries went really well, as did other, related events.
I suppose that I could have stopped there and simply said that this one success was quite enough. However, I have kept at it. It’s like the wind has been at my back, pushing me along. On Thursday, my friend Hillary stopped in at the Palmer Senior Center, and when I told her what was going on with the Bright Lights Book Project, she said that it now seemed to have a life of its own. I likened it to the movie, Bride of Frankenstein and said, “it’s alive!” I don’t think this project is quite there yet – if I suddenly bowed out, the VCRS recycling center would go back to shredding and pulping books and the era of the Bright Lights Book Project would be over.
But I am continuing to act on new ideas. This morning I talked with Milena who works as a community relations person for TOTE Maritime, and we are, as planned, going to do another road trip to Homer. I am thinking that beforehand, I’ll make an appointment with a staff person at the Homer Library, and brainstorm with them about making further book-related connections.
And on Monday, Pete, Milena, and I are going to the career/vocational technical high school and talk with the shop person about having students construct a building. Pete’s right – this would be an excellent partnership. Today I had this additional idea, which is to have the college students who are involved with this project mentor the high schoolers. I would have students in both groups work on specific tasks together.
The groups would work on book logistics (salvaging, sorting, categorizing, cleaning, and distribution) as well as publicity, public relations, and little library construction and placement.
It would be best to have the building in place before doing volunteer recruitment and training. But if not, I’ll figure out something else. Maybe Mat-Su College will provide us to access to a temporary work space.
This is a lot (of course) to think about. But apparently, thinking is what I do best.
Next: 252. 9/12/21: The Chicken Coop Blues