If someone asked me, “Why do you like being a librarian?” My answer would be told through stories like this one.
There is a balance between getting things done verse mentoring a process. When Salmon Public Library secured newspaper vending machines from Idaho Statesman two years ago, we could have put them out as Little Free Library the next week, but instead they sat, waiting in the shadows for opportunity. Then such an opportunity arose.
Switch, Salmon Public Library’s #STEM programming division capitalized by involving youth in solving this community based problem. “How might we design a little free library that represents the town of Tendoy?” We then went on a #designthinking journey which took us to Lemhi County Museum for research, interviewing community members for input, all in hopes of designing a wooden plaque that felt authentic to it’s location. The process was slow, but thoughtful and offered new learning experiences along the way. Navigating the in’s and out’s of Adobe Illustrator + ZMorph, youth produced their solution burned into a beautiful piece of wood for all those visiting patrons to see and smile about.
The youth drawn designs of Chief Tendoy from whom the town is named after, later transitioning to a stage coach stop, and finally representing the present day ranching community that resides, give a quick snapshot of “Tendoy through Time.” Also offered are the selection of free books that reflect the values of the hardworking individuals that make up the community.
This Little Free Library now sits quietly in front of the Tendoy store, sharing the message stenciled on it’s side by Tendoy youth, “Take a Book – Share a Book” giving the next generation an opportunity to discover the joys of reading.
And THIS is the heartbeat of being a librarian.
We thank everyone who was involved in making this community project such a joy to work on. We look forward to getting to work on a version for The Village at North Fork .