My answer would be quite a few. I was blessed enough to work at a detention center for children. Yes they do exist. I was taken there by one of my very on B Children. Once I enter the facility I felt overwhelmed by the need. Needs I did not think I could meet. So naturally I took the challenge. That was 10 years ago.
A quick update we will call it then and now..
Then no viable library. The books they had limited access to were given to them by well meaning geriatrics. I believed in my heart a 14 year old would not read Barbra Cartland heaving bosom’s or check their prostrate on purpose.
Challenge accepted. I knew from the 14 year old that brought me to this conclusion and his older and younger siblings what they would read. Also I was quite a hellcat as a teen so I can still smell bullshit from miles away.
I saw the film Atlas Shrugged the other day at this point in my life I had not. I was an employee of a library. A part time employee who’s job was not to form a relationship with an organization that was not a part of the city I served.
Challenge accepted. The first three years were the hardest. Working in an institution like this one learns quickly the walls do not hold the prejudice from the world or the mistrust from the staff.
It still amazes me what boldness can do. I want to call it lack of fear but that is not true. It took brass balls to fight my job and I was terrified. When the income was feeding my family, and without it we could have been sleeping on the couch of well meaning friends. Those well meaning but curious friends who did not see the leap from entertaining children to going to jail. My beloved family that thought I was bat shit crazy and why could I not just send a thank you card like everyone else. My patient husband who wears a crooked halo. I remember his continued “why are you doing this” and my answer was “because I have to god damn it”.
Every time the boulder seemed to be going up the hill, it was knocked down. At year three I engaged on a level that brought help. I found interns are God sent. Things started to happen. When people see who I convinced to talk to my kids they are amazed. Sometimes directly sometimes through kind people and sometimes through fate. All times with God hand on my head. Divine intervention is the only reason I have this story to tell.
Once we started becoming a big deal I was able to come into the light. They still did not trust in either camp but the statistics started speaking for themselves. Children were reading. Children were changing. They wanted a piece. I love my kids. So yes sir take as much as you can eat.
Then we got an angel to watch over my babies. She is fierce and intelligent and will change the world. I thank God for her every day. She took the profile to a level that cancelling us would make them all look bad. Then God sent me a guardian.
In all their wisdom the school district that is responsible for the education of my children decided maybe they did need a librarian. I found this out a few days ago and I wept. Finally I can take them off the list…not the I think about you list. The I pray until my gut hurts list. You see in this tiny corner of the globe someone cares about my babies. OK time to find another Dragon because bastard of illiteracy and poverty I have slain you in this building.
Thank you God for giving me boldness and ignorance. Thank you my family for understand my obsession to help. Thank you my boy, for knowing how hard it is sometimes and turning on a sitcom to make me stop and breathe. I love you all.