Today was the preview of the book fair at our local Silver Lake Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Because I have serious trouble resisting kids’ books that cost just a quarter, I rushed over there and spent 20 minutes sifting through the many volumes and came away with five kids’ titles for my son Theo and his cousin Kaia and one for me. I simply couldn’t resist buying Bill Clinton’s book Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World. In it he discusses the many different ways people can give, either, money, time, things or skills, and spotlights certain individuals from Bill and Melinda Gates to a six-year old California girl who have been driven at some point in their lives to give. I am eager to dive into this book for new ideas and inspiration.
Of course the book sale provides me with the ideal opportunity to do my Giveaway, to offload some of the books that have been sitting in my Giveaway pile. But instead, today I took a bag full of empty glass jars to the library. The other day, I had been chatting with one of the librarians, Danica, a wonderfully cheerful woman with colorfully braided blond hair that she recently had done for the summer. She was cleaning out some glass bay food jars in preparation for one of the Teen programs she leads at the library. She was going to have them make snow globes with them. When I asked her if she needed more jars, she lit up saying she needs all sorts of recyclables for her programs. I lit up too. I had no idea the Library could be a destination for some of the recyclables I stash in the kitchen cupboards. I call this my eco-clutter, the stuff I collect for future arts and crafts projects that almost never happen. This afternoon when I dropped off the glass jars, Danica wasn’t there but when I brought the bag to the front desk and explained what was inside to her colleague, she smiled knowingly and promised to give Danica the jars. She had overheard our chat the other day.
As I write this and prepare to read Clinton’s book, I can’t help being impressed by people like Danica whose resourcefulness and creativity is a gift to local teenagers, helping them to transform a library into even more than a place where teens can read about fantastic worlds, but one where they can transform something as mundane as a glass baby food jar into a magical, glittering snow globe.