In a stunning example of kindness and global community, the town on Greenville, California has received an invaluable gift: a renewed library selection to replace a school’s defunct and crumbling supply.
Yes Magazine tells the story of Margaret Elysia Garcia, who had recently moved to Greenville from Los Angeles, and was astounded by the state of the school library. Not only were the kids forbidden from checking out books (due to the lack of a librarian for nearly two decades), the selection was outdated and narrow. She wrote a post titled “Just. One. Book.” to explain the troubles facing this library; the piece spread like wildfire, reposted by authors like Neil Gaiman and Sherman Alexie and Eric Idle.
The Indian Valley Collective Library, as it was renamed, is now home to over 15,000 books due to the generosity of strangers. The whole community has been pitching in to catalogue the books and shelve them. Children are coming in to get recommendations and request titles. The books are arranged by topics to better cater to the interests of the children, with a graphic novel section now numbering around 700 tomes. But more importantly, the renewed space seems to be having an impact on the entire town:
The enthusiasm is spreading to students’ parents, community residents, and retirees who haven’t had kids in school for decades. Suddenly, everyone in Indian Valley is talking about reading.
“I’ve had supermarket conversations with people asking for book recommendations,” Garcia says.
The school is looking to host reading groups for children and adults alike, and authors have volunteered to speak via video chat. In an area that reportedly has no bookstore and very few outlets for entertainment, the Indian Valley Collective Library is set to become a place of community and connection for Greenville. And that’s not all that these children have learned:
The response from people around the world, donations from far-off places, is another facet of this story, Garcia says: “I love that they now have hope in a world where the news tells them every night how violent and horrible it has become—that they know for a fact that complete strangers can also be kind.”
Libraries enhance the communities they are a part of, and nothing proves it so well as what has happened for the residents of Greenville, California. Here’s hoping this rejuvenated spot will be place of comfort and knowledge for years to come.
[via Yes Magazine]