This week, I have a couple of library-related feel-good stories to relay to you. But first, I have an exciting announcement! We know our library patrons with young families have been missing live storytime events over the past year. So, until we can safely gather again for regular in-person programs, we are starting a weekly Online Storytime. Every Monday, a library staff member will be featured presenting a special storytime that we will post on YouTube and Facebook. All you have to do is look for the Monday morning announcement and you can watch and re-watch each storytime to your heart's content!
Another bit of fun news...following the advice of COVID experts, we are no longer putting returned library materials into quarantine! What does this mean for you? You will no longer have to wait a day or two for your returned items to be checked in and removed from your account. Also, high demand materials will move more quickly through our system so we will all get our requested books and movies a little bit faster! Three cheers for that!
Now on to the feel-good stories I promised. A few weeks ago, the Tales from the Library column talked about how the bookmobile driver uses her own personal funds to buy dog biscuits for the pooches she sees on the rural visits on the bookmobile route. One thoughtful patron was touched by that story and took it upon herself to order some doggie treats and have them delivered to the library. You would not believe what a wonderful emotional uplift that provided to the library staff! And I bet you the dogs will be very pleased, too!
The other story I wanted to tell did not happen at the library, but it does have a literary angle to it that I just love. I do lots of my creative thinking, problem solving, and stress reduction on the trails and beaches around Tillamook County. Recently, I was about five miles in to a hike at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area along Sand Lake Road, deep in thought about a problem that was occupying my mind. As I passed through one stretch of trail with pine trees on each side of me, something caught my eye. There was a little clear test-tube-sized glass bottle hanging high on a branch. It was about the size and circumference of my pinky finger, so it was not an easy thing to spot...and that just added to the mystery of it all. There was a cork in the top of the bottle and a string attached to that so that it hung inconspicuously from the tree. Upon closer inspection, I could see there was a tiny note rolled up inside. Curiosity got the best of me, so I reached up and took the bottle down from the branch. My mind raced and puzzled about what the message inside could possibly want to tell me. The bottle was too small to get my finger inside as the neck was tapered, so it took some patience and try-try-again efforts to get the curled note out.
I carefully unrolled the three-inch piece of paper and found a message carefully written out in happy-looking penmanship. "I wish you all the happiness, joy, love, tacos, pizza, and awesomeness in the world." And the message closed with a simple heart.
I smiled a great big grateful smile, rolled the note back up, put it back in the bottle, and hung it back on the tree so that it could bless someone else. I don't know about you, but a little act like that was all that it took to turn my worries upside-down for the rest of the day. Whoever left that message in a bottle for me to find went to a lot of work to add some joy to my day. It was very much a simple act of kindness but it restored my faith in humanity and made me start thinking of what fun, creative, smile-inducing acts I could come up with to "pass it on" and return the favor.