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
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
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.
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.”"