Opinion

A little help from our ‘friends’ |Darcy Brixey

Heroes don’t always come dressed in tights with capes or firefighter helmets. Sometimes, they work behind the scenes, clad in green cobbler aprons. They don’t leap tall buildings or stop trains; instead they work tirelessly, in a windowless room of the Bellevue library, pricing donated paperbacks.

These unsung heroes are the Bellevue Friends of the Library. Members like Dolores and Luanne work to support and promote the library and its many resources filling in where public funds cannot, such as children’s story times, a book discussion group, book giveaways and author workshops in local middle schools.

Odle Middle School teacher Amber Anderson has been able to bring new experiences to her students through the support of the Friends. Her students performed a virtual autopsy during a visit with forensic pathologist, Dr. Carl Wigren. The presentation wasn’t only about blood and guts. It was about science education.

“All of these experiences have provided students with an academic connection beyond the classroom and inspiration to succeed in school,” Anderson said.

Only the best can come from a strong relationship between schools and libraries.

There are many ways to get involved in the Bellevue Friends of the Library (BFOL). A $15 membership gives access to special invitations to author events and volunteer opportunities. Even shopping in the Corner Book Shop, located at the Bellevue library will raise revenue to fund programs. The bookstore sells donated materials such as books, CDs, audio books and magazines. It’s a treasure trove of unique finds.

The program has reached beyond the library to kids who don’t have regular exposure to the library. At the end of the Bellevue School District summer bussing program, summer elementary school students receive a free book, thanks to BFOL. A simple gift from the Friends can encourage students to be lifelong learners and readers.

If you’ve enjoyed a recent story time at Crossroads, thank the Friends of the Library. If your middle school student learned how to draw out a plot line and “torture a heroine” thanks to a visit from local author Mary Jane Beaufrand, thank the Friends of the Library. They’ve been there, behind the scenes making a lot of programs possible.

Green Lantern had his power ring and Thor had his hammer. I’m just as happy with the Friends in their green cobbler aprons. BFOL members may not be able stop a speeding bullet, but they are heroes just the same.

 

Darcy Brixey is the teen services librarian at the Bellevue Library. She’d like to tell you she loves to read, but it’s an expectation of the job.

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