I’ve been thinking about how small things can be big things. Sometimes, a small note is more meaningful than a lavish gift. Sometimes, saying, “I’m glad you’re here,” is more impactful than any award or accolade. And sometimes, a small library in a small town can have as much impact on its community as any big suburban library.
When it came time to write about Prospect, I didn’t know what I would write about. Even during my one-hour drive out to the branch, I was at a loss. The drive is beautiful, but I didn’t know how to make that stretch for 450 words.
I got to the branch, took some photos, and parked myself in the corner with my laptop to get some work done and observe.
I saw a mom getting some work done on a computer.
I saw children listening to storytime, playing with toys, and grabbing Take & Makes.
I saw someone inquire about how to check out a hotspot.
I saw people perusing the DVDs.
With all of these interactions, I overheard the joy and appreciation from these patrons. Every single person I saw walk into that branch that day expressed how happy they were that the library was there and how grateful they were for the staff that helped them.
None of these services were “big” or out of the ordinary. They were all what we, as librarians or library professionals, would consider “basic library services,” but they were big to these patrons.
So, as I sat in that small library in the small town of Prospect (population 950), I thought about all the big things happening there.
In July, you can experience the Blue Grass Festival in Lions Park or the annual “fly-in” at the Prospect State Airport. In August, you can attend the yearly Prospect Jamboree and Timber Carnival, one of the last three timber carnivals in Oregon.
Spring and fall bring mushrooms that draw mushroom hunters from all over. Miles of cross-country ski trails take you to beautiful winter vistas. Plus, there are numerous state parks, campgrounds, swimming holes, and waterfalls available to experience all year round.
Now, this small town doesn’t seem so small.
As I end this post, I encourage you to do two things: first, make the drive out to Prospect; it’s long, but it really is beautiful. Secondly, think about how the little things in your life, or the seemingly little things that you do, have an impact. I promise that it is important to someone.