Wednesday, November 25, 2009
365:328 - Box of Cranes
Part of my work at the Broome County Public Library is in the youth services department, specifically with the teens. I haven't had much luck getting them interested in coming out to any programs, so I thought I'd try something that didn't require a lot of resources and that I could do fairly simply.
Do you know the Japanese legend that says that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, you get a wish? My thought was that if the youth of the community worked together to fold 1,000 cranes, it would be a symbol of hope for our community, as are many communities in our country.
So I put it out there. I sent emails to a few of my professional contacts that work with youth, did a press release, and put up flyers in the library. I wasn't sure what to expect, since the response to the other programs had been so...lackluster.
The high school librarian from Chenango Forks asked me to come and fold cranes with her library club, so I did that, and we had 14 cranes. A week later, she emailed me to see if she could drop off the 100 cranes her kids had made during the week! One of the TV news stations came to do a piece on it (thankfully, the interviewer was very kind to me and made me sound halfway intelligent), and the newspaper sent a photographer. Then the high school librarian from Vestal asked if she could do it with her students, too, and this past Monday, she brought me two boxes overflowing with cranes!
I've had people from about 3 years old up to middle-aged adults helping me fold cranes at the library. They've been from all races and walks of life. I've been able to talk to people about all kinds of things, from school subjects to what they wish for the community. Staff members have been folding cranes, too, a few each day. I've heard so many comments, from library staff and from patrons, about how great the cranes look and the color that they add to the library. I haven't felt this much positive energy about anything since I started working at the library.
We are now up over 630 cranes. I am sure that we will reach 1,000 cranes, and I'm hopeful that we can get there before Christmas.
I am blown away.
photo cropped using Picnik