Friday, September 15, 2006

First responder community breakfast

I've been meaning to blog this all week! Last weekend we went to a great event that brought together a community in a very cool way. It was a pancake breakfast:
*Put on by the local firefighters
*Sponsored by one of the university sororities
*Held at the community grade school
*To benefit the local public library
*It kicked off a community-wide tag sale of more than 700 families

As my best friend would say, "How many more of your favorite things can you put together in one place, Alice?"

Of course it helped that it was a beautiful sunny day of the crisp but still warm variety of early New England autumn. And you could say that only small New England towns of a certain size and character (town and gown, etc.) could come together to make this kind of event happen. What made it stand out in my mind, though, was the unlikely but quite natural fit of firefighters teaming up with librarians.

Both groups are first responders. Both groups are absolutely necessary to the community, but can be taken for granted as *always being there.* Both groups have a mission to educate and inform the citizenry. And both groups deal with the consequences of not being adequately funded.

Firefighters tend to visit schools to do education programs. They bring the firetruck, pass out hats, send home coloring books with all the kids. Can we do the same with our public libraries? Team up and bring the bookmobile, pass out good database search techniques and show how librarians also "first responders" --for knowledge!

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