“KINDNESS — our world could use a lot more of it spread around,” I have this as my mantra. We try to operate our library every single day with an awareness of how we treat our patrons with genuine care and respect. If a patron has an interest in a topic we help them explore our resources and offer to order books from other Iowa libraries if necessary. We feel we are good at providing services to our Monroe community. It never ceases to amaze me when people that have lived in Monroe for years and mention during their first visit, “I never knew how nice our town library is.” We feel that our library is a town treasure. Lucy, from the Snoopy comics, says “Happiness is a library card!” My personal nature is to explore ways that we can share our space, programming or resources with other people groups. Spreading kindness.
We have been blessed to begin a partnership with Progress Industries to experience our library’s Wee Ones Story Times together with their residents. I know I gained more joy from the visit then I could have imagined. It was such a sweet time. The library has a junior volunteer program at the library for a few “volunteers” each year. Youth that are fourth grade or older can volunteer to learn library tasks, gain responsibilities, help us out and earn an opportunity to choose a book for our collection that is labeled with their name and volunteer contribution. The library is also a great spot for high school youth to gain their community service commitment hours and for individuals who need some work study experience. All of volunteer opportunities allow for us to grow our relationship with our community and for the volunteer to get firsthand knowledge of the benefits of a public library. A win-win for all involved.
On March 3, our annual Kindness Event encouraged a group of boy scouts, Key Club members and library patrons to join together to spread even more kindness. The group cut diapers for babies in Haiti. Some of the scouts were excellent at tying blankets for our furry friends at “Paw’s n a Blanket.” Each year we enjoy bringing some cheer to the residents of Monroe Senior Housing Community and this year we are hoping to grow some kindness for them with some hand created seed bombs. Our friends served by Freedom For Youth and Urban Food Bicycle Ministry will reap the bounty of crafting and hygiene items that the Prairie City Elementary, Monroe Elementary Schools, and PCM Key Club collected from their students donations. This event is truly a community–wide commitment to sharing kindness in so many ways. I hope that we are able to continue this great tradition. I would be glad to hear about any projects that we can help through this program.