because there's forty different shades of black (dearanxiety) wrote,

today is a good day

the new library on 81st avenue opened. i can't begin to explain how exciting and inspiring and empowering and amazing this is. i love oakland so much sometimes it makes me almost cry. sometimes i really remember that my job is a job in public service and that there is no other public i can imagine serving right now. and this investment, right in the heart of east oakland, is just happymaking and beautiful. the birth of a library in this economic climate is a huge triuph. it's a triumph at anytime. and giving the people of this community and the two schools that will use this as their library the largest branch in oakland (second only to the main library), the most advanced technology, and an AMAZING staff is such an investment in the future, and such a contribution of hope.

some things that happened, that made me smile, above and beyond just the fact that this library exists, and that i was there with friends who are coworkers and coworkers who are friends, and above and beyond the fact that hundreds of people came out for this event, are as follows:

1. one of my regular patrons at my branch (elmhurst) was at the opening. i saw her amidst the hundreds of people and she rushed over and gave me a hug. you can see her below in the photos. she's the one standing up and dancing in the crowd (when the rapper was performing).

2. the library director also gave me a hug. and thanked me for coming back to oakland. this made me feel good.

3. i came back to my branch and helped a gentleman (he is an older guy, is deaf and does not read lips or sign language and he also does not speak) and he was so happy i understood and was able to get him what he needed that he grabbed my hand and blew me a kiss.

4. mini-cupcake with my lunch. delightful.

5. my favorite brothers just came into the library. the 13-year-old is the one who told me, "but you're too nice to be a boss!!!" when he found out i was the manager. LOVE HIM FOREVER.

here are some photos of the day:


the staff prepping for the big day


barbara lee


crowd shot (see the patron i mentioned above!)


speeches from the children of EnCompass Academy and ACORN Woodland elementary schools (the two schools on the campus with the library)


moments before mayor quan cut the ribbon


clifford! duhs!


a quiet moment.


and a less quiet one.

watch this video. watch it to the end. watch my friend derrick (and know that i laugh and i cry everytime i watch it).
"Students mobbed the truck that delivered the first shipment of books and materials to the library in mid-December. They couldn't contain their joy when librarian Derrick DeMay opened up a box and showed them the new stuff inside."

here are some articles about the library opening.
sfgate
oakland north
inside bay area
oakland tribune/san jose mercury news

***

"The new library represents a commitment to the East Oakland community and the young people who live there."

"EnCompass Principal Nguyen also hopes the surroundings will send a positive message to students. “When you surround children with beauty, they start reflecting that,” she said. “When they think of themselves in the hood, they don’t get that message.”"
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