Think back a few months ago when the reader was introduced to two branch librarians who work at an inviting little hideaway north of Casper called Edgerton.
What do these librarians do in their free time in a small community such as Edgerton? For starters, they wear many hats. On any given day you may see them volunteering at the local foodbank, teaching preschoolers and homeschoolers, writing and publishing the local Bulletin, working in their small businesses, crafting in their spare time and speaking with neighbors about new releases.
And their work doesn’t end there. A year and a half ago, when Midwest School closed due to a gas leak, the students were bused to Casper (about 50 miles one way) for the school year. Since preschool-aged children cannot ride on school buses, many families were concerned their children would miss out on vital early school readiness opportunities. Fortunately, a local congregation volunteered their church space for a preschool co-op while community members prepared snacks and lunch. Everything was donated: the time, the funds and the materials. One of the branch librarians made copies, built books and created educational games, which was a tremendous help to the preschool teacher/librarian.
The school library also was closed, and Midwest preschoolers soon found themselves without access to essential educational and literacy resources. So the branch librarians stepped up, and through the StoryTime program, came up with a fun, educational hour offered weekly for the preschoolers. The children loved every moment of it, and now the librarians weren’t just working at the branch—they were branching out into the community. It was incredible seeing the librarians and community come together to promote early childhood education.
Because of the opportunity given to these children, they were ready to rock and roll when school reopened. Another unexpected bonus was that children who had rarely or never stepped foot inside the library were now regulars who came in to check out books and movies with their families.
The next time you drive through Edgerton, stop in and visit with the two branch librarians in their little hideaway in the oil patch. It’s an experience you may just enjoy.