Did you happen to catch the picture of the Book Group on the front page of last Sunday’s Herald Review? They were surrounding the latest addition to our Children’s Library: A special bookcase to display some of our new picture books. The Book Group wanted to do something to commemorate Ann McDonald, one of their members who passed away in 2016, and thus had this beautiful bookcase made in her honor.
This Book Group has been meeting monthly for nearly 25 years. I marvel at that number; how many births, deaths, birthdays, graduations, holidays, wine recommendations, recipes, and gardening tips have they shared over all those years? Indeed, how many books have they read? In all that time, only one member moved, and she still drives over three hours to book group. They are a remarkable group of women.
Why a book display? Because Ann was all about books, kids, and reading. She shared her book passion with her first- and second-grade students at Hill City School for nearly 30 years. Imagine all the books that she read, all the books she sent home, all the books she gifted to her students! Each of those stories made an impact, like the proverbial ripple after a rock is thrown into water, a ripple that touched not only that student, but their families as well. After Ann was too sick to go to her classroom, she missed the sounds of children reading. She invited a former student to her house and asked if he would just read to her? With great respect, she also asked if she could tape his reading, so she could listen to it during quiet afternoons. Surely, those ripples are still expanding.
At home one afternoon, I was discussing the impending arrival of our book display. My daughter, home from college, asked about the woman it was to commemorate. In one of those “world colliding” moments, I realized that my daughter had not only met Ann, but had spent several hours at her house. My daughter went to school with Ann’s niece, and they had been invited to Ann’s house to get ready for a special dance. My daughter said, “Mom, it was incredible! We got dressed and she did our hair and nails, and then she sat with us, just talking and eating pizza before she drove us to the dance. She wasn’t being a Mom; she was being so much more. She was an Aunt. I decided that night that I wanted to be that kind of Aunt.” And she is exactly that kind of Aunt. Ann threw a rock into my daughter’s pond one evening over pizza and fingernail polish…and my grandson, many years later, is the beneficiary of that ripple.
Maybe because I have so much respect for the women of the Book Group, or because of my daughter’s one evening with Ann, or because my grandson has an Auntie who loves him like Ann loved her niece, whatever the reason, this book display makes me wonder. I think of the ripples that I might cast, with a book that I might find for one of my patrons. Or the ripples created simply because of the smile I send their way when they enter this space. I think of the ripples that they, in turn, cast in my life when they suggest a good book to me, or they share a school story or life event with me. I think of the joy we feel when we come together, in this space, over the stories we share. I have the best job in the world. I guess I didn’t realize until the book display arrived, that it is all because of the ripples. Happy Reading!
This week at your library:
Monday, Dec. 10: At 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., it’s Book Time! Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for books, songs, finger plays, flannel board stories, and all other sorts of fun! Then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and a time to play and visit.
Tuesday, Dec.11: At 6 p.m., join us for Festive Felting! Create a hand-felted art piece out of naturally dyed sheep’s wool with local fiber artist, Susan Vann. Fun for the whole family. Recommended for ages six and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited. Please register at the Reference Desk.
Saturday, Dec. 15: At 10:30 a.m., join us for a delightful reading of “The Nutcracker” with special guests from Reif Dance. Hear the classic tale and dance with the characters. Perfect for all ages.
Saturday, Dec. 15: At 12:30 p.m., join us for our Winter Reading Kick-Off! The artists of the Creativity Tank will be here to share a project with us. Then pick up your book log and start your journey to a free book. What titles will the prize carts hold this season? Complete your book log and see for yourself!