Both You and Your Library Care

Keeping a small board book with a "GPL Cares" sticker on the back cover in my purse at all times for library advocacy and outreach (while being a good human being). | hafuboti.com

I know that this idea is not super-original, but it’s worth sharing and reconsidering if you’ve come across it from elsewhere. For me it was the result of two things: something that I had done, and something that I had read.

DONE: When I was attending the Nevada Library Association’s conference in October 2016, I was having breakfast with some amazing Storytime Underground Joint Chiefs when an adorable little girl in a booth next to ours started playing peekaboo with us. We explained to the parents that we were Children’s Librarians mainly to keep them from seeking security to remove us from the restaurant.

Long story short – I surprised the girl during a “peek” moment by holding up one of the handheld fans I carry since some of my medications can raise my body temperature. The little girl was enamored. When the parents offered to pay me for the fan, I refused and told them “take your girl to one of your library’s storytimes – I’ll consider that payment.” It was a really cool experience for me – and one of my many cherished memories from that trip.

READ: Somewhere online I read a post or comment from a Children’s Librarian who was telling the story of a toddler who was melting down at a restaurant. She said that as a Children’s Librarian she almost always keeps free books in her car, so she went out, grabbed one, and gave it to the child who was instantly enraptured with it. Awesome Librarian Act of Random Kindness Achievement unlocked!

THE RESULT: I was like Hey! I should totally carry around a board book with me at all times to give away to a child! And I did just that. I took one of the smaller board books that we were using for our GPL Cares campaign (where we donate donated books to local dentists’, doctors’, and veterinarians’ offices) and put it in my purse. And there it stayed for months – mostly forgotten about.

Donated books that we put a red "GPL Cares" stickers on to donate to area offices | hafuboti.com

But last week the time finally came for me to give out my first book, and I almost completely missed the opportunity.

I was walking around the Nebraska State Capitol building after having met with my Senator for our Advocacy Day. I was pretty jubilant that I’d found my way around, had a good meeting, and wasn’t having a fibro flare.  I was so caught up in myself that I walked right on by a mom, dad, and child who were having a rough day. The toddler was screaming while the mom tried to get a warm jacket on him – and lemme tell you what: that building is a giant echo chamber.

I am ashamed to say that I kept going past them for about a yard, but then it hit me that I had a book with me that might help them out. I sucked up my courage (believe it or not – I’m a super shy introvert IRL), and approached the family. I said, “Hi, I’m a Children’s Librarian – is there anything I can do to help?” (yes, I know I’m not a Children’s Librarian, but it was easier saying that than what my real job title is). The mom said, “Oh no thanks,  he’s late for his nap and is not happy about it.” I pulled out my book and showed it to the toddler and there wasn’t even a hesitation – he reached for it IMMEDIATELY. The mom said that they have that book at home (yay!), and so I told her that she could pass this one on.

Let me tell you, the full minute I had walking down the long hallway where there wasn’t any shrieking was one of my favorite parts of the day (and there were lots of good things that happened that day). Yes, the kid returned to fuss-mode, but I like to think that it wasn’t quite as loud as it had been. And maybe I made the parents consider going to a library and bringing their child – that librarians care and have good resources for them.

All that might be wishful thinking, but I believe that you never know how little things can impact the life or lives of those around you. So why not grab a book (stickers are optional since they are potential choking hazards), keep it in a bag you carry, and be ready to swoop in and blow a stranger’s mind? It’s a pretty great feeling.

Libraries Are For Everyone: Romanian

The wonderfully fabulous Karen Van Drie (@worldlibraries) came to the rescue again by providing me with the Romanian translation after an Icelandic librarian requested it. Y’all seriously should follow Karen on Twitter – she’s great!

Thank you Karen, yet again!!!!!

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Romanian featuring ten diverse library patrons holding globes on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Romanian featuring three diverse library patrons on a rose background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Romanian featuring three diverse library patrons on an orange background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Romanian featuring three diverse library patrons on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Romanian featuring three diverse library patrons on a green background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Romanian featuring three diverse library patrons on a blue background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Romanian featuring three diverse library patrons on a purple background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

A NOTE: I am slowly working on getting my artwork uploaded onto the Wikimedia Commons for people to find it easier all the while making all of it “officially” licensed. That said – my entire blog here is under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license – so know that I both want and encourage everyone to download, share, modify, and have fun with my work!

I also want to reiterate what I’ve stated in the past since I can’t make it an exception within the license: I do not want my name (given or business) on my minimalist art. It sort of ruins the clean lines and elegance. Just don’t tell people that you’re the creator – I’m fine with you crediting it to “an awesome Punk Rock Book Jockey blogger” if you can’t recall either of my names. Or write by Hafuboti on the back in pencil if you’re worried about it. Seriously. Have fun.

I plan on putting this note on the bottom of all of my Libraries Are For Everyone posts so if you’ve read the above paragraph once, then you won’t need to again (unless you really want to).

Libraries Are For Everyone: Marshallese

Wendy Christy, the Children’s Librarian at the Saline County Public Library, shared with me that her library has decided to ditch the nationwide summer programming, and is going with the theme Libraries Are For Everyone! I mean, WOW!!! 

She didn’t write to me to just tell me that, but to also request a set of signs in Marshallese to reflect this group in their community. Fortunately, she used her awesome networking skills and found a translation through the fab Erin Renollet. As an FYI this translates literally to libraries are for the public and for everyone.

Thank you both Wendy and Erin, for both caring and sharing!!!!!

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Marshallese featuring ten diverse library patrons holding globes on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Marshallese featuring three diverse library patrons on a rose background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Marshallese featuring three diverse library patrons on an orange background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Marshallese featuring three diverse library patrons on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Marshallese featuring three diverse library patrons on a green background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Marshallese featuring three diverse library patrons on a blue background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Marshallese featuring three diverse library patrons on a purple background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

A NOTE: I am slowly working on getting my artwork uploaded onto the Wikimedia Commons for people to find it easier all the while making all of it “officially” licensed. That said – my entire blog here is under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license – so know that I both want and encourage everyone to download, share, modify, and have fun with my work!

I also want to reiterate what I’ve stated in the past since I can’t make it an exception within the license: I do not want my name (given or business) on my minimalist art. It sort of ruins the clean lines and elegance. Just don’t tell people that you’re the creator – I’m fine with you crediting it to “an awesome Punk Rock Book Jockey blogger” if you can’t recall either of my names. Or write by Hafuboti on the back in pencil if you’re worried about it. Seriously. Have fun.

I plan on putting this note on the bottom of all of my Libraries Are For Everyone posts so if you’ve read the above paragraph once, then you won’t need to again (unless you really want to).

Libraries Are For Everyone: Lithuanian

Janice Marsh from Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee, Illinois reached out to me with a Lithuanian translation after I sent out a call for help. The wonderful Ron Kilik, an adult services associate at WNPL and a native of Lithuania, offered this translation. It translates to Libraries for All.

Thank you both, Janice and Ron!!!

Libraries For All sign in Lithuanian featuring ten diverse library patrons holding globes on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries For All sign in Lithuanian featuring three diverse library patrons on a rose background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries For All sign in Lithuanian featuring three diverse library patrons on an orange background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries For All sign in Lithuanian featuring three diverse library patrons on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries For All sign in Lithuanian featuring three diverse library patrons on a green background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries For All sign in Lithuanian featuring three diverse library patrons on a blue background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries For All sign in Lithuanian featuring three diverse library patrons on a purple background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

A NOTE: I am slowly working on getting my artwork uploaded onto the Wikimedia Commons for people to find it easier all the while making all of it “officially” licensed. That said – my entire blog here is under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license – so know that I both want and encourage everyone to download, share, modify, and have fun with my work!

I also want to reiterate what I’ve stated in the past since I can’t make it an exception within the license: I do not want my name (given or business) on my minimalist art. It sort of ruins the clean lines and elegance. Just don’t tell people that you’re the creator – I’m fine with you crediting it to “an awesome Punk Rock Book Jockey blogger” if you can’t recall either of my names. Or write by Hafuboti on the back in pencil if you’re worried about it. Seriously. Have fun.

I plan on putting this note on the bottom of all of my Libraries Are For Everyone posts so if you’ve read the above paragraph once, then you won’t need to again (unless you really want to).

Libraries Are For Everyone: Norwegian

Rachael Smith, a super-nice Access Services Associate at Mount Holyoke College, wrote me a squee-worthy email. Within it, she provided me with a Norwegian translation (which reads The Library Is For Everyone). Sven Aas, the Head of Web Services & Application Development at MHC, and his native speaking Norwegian cousins worked together to come up with this translation.

Sven also shared the following: there are two national languages in Norway. The translation I’m proposing is in Bokmål, which is the more widely-spoken of the two. I don’t know how the Nynorsk rendering might differ. 

If you’d like a Nynorsk translation, then please send it my way and I’ll happily add it to this post.

Thank you Sven and cousins!!!
The Library Is For Everyone sign in Bokmål Norwegian featuring ten diverse library patrons holding globes on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE
The Library Is For Everyone sign in Bokmål Norwegian featuring three diverse library patrons on a red background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE
The Library Is For Everyone sign in Bokmål Norwegian featuring three diverse library patrons on an orange background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE
The Library Is For Everyone sign in Bokmål Norwegian featuring three diverse library patrons on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE
The Library Is For Everyone sign in Bokmål Norwegian featuring three diverse library patrons on a green background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE
The Library Is For Everyone sign in Bokmål Norwegian featuring three diverse library patrons on a blue background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE
The Library Is For Everyone sign in Bokmål Norwegian featuring three diverse library patrons on a purple background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

A NOTE: I am slowly working on getting my artwork uploaded onto the Wikimedia Commons for people to find it easier all the while making all of it “officially” licensed. That said – my entire blog here is under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license – so know that I both want and encourage everyone to download, share, modify, and have fun with my work!

I also want to reiterate what I’ve stated in the past since I can’t make it an exception within the license: I do not want my name (given or business) on my minimalist art. It sort of ruins the clean lines and elegance. Just don’t tell people that you’re the creator – I’m fine with you crediting it to “an awesome Punk Rock Book Jockey blogger” if you can’t recall either of my names. Or write by Hafuboti on the back in pencil if you’re worried about it. Seriously. Have fun.

I plan on putting this note on the bottom of all of my Libraries Are For Everyone posts so if you’ve read the above paragraph once, then you won’t need to again (unless you really want to).