Perpetuating Passions: The Library Project

A few weeks ago while my friends and I were visiting Elmcroft on a Sunday afternoon, we were introduced to a new service opportunity within the assisted living facility community.  If you are new to this blog and unfamiliar with The Memory Initiative, please click here to read about the project’s inception and its goals before continuing to read on (or else it won’t make much sense!)

On that Sunday, we discovered that one of the women in the assisted living facility, Marge, used to be a librarian. She loved what she did as her career for many years, and she carries her passion with her still today.

When my teammates and I were in the process of designing The Memory Initiative, an important guiding force were our passions. As a result, we all recognize the important role that passion plays in our lives and how it influences what we do each day. Thus, when Marge expressed her passion for libraries, we decided that we needed to help her bring her dreams to reality. We wanted to help her continue to pursue her passion even if she couldn’t technically be a librarian anymore.

Elmcroft actually had a small library in one of the office rooms, but since it was rarely used and saw very little upkeep, the small collection of books had fallen to the wayside and became a memory of the past. In order to provide recognition for Marge’s cherished past, we contacted the volunteer coordinator at Elmcroft, Elizabeth, and we decided that we would help Marge take on the project of refurbishing the library. The home is currently in the process of buying new book shelves, and we are discussing the possibility of organizing a book drive in the State College community. We obtained Marge’s phone number and she calls us frequently to share updates about the project.

When my teammates and I visited Elmcroft most recently, we were unsettled to find out that Marge was in the hospital. We were told that she was going to be fine, but it was upsetting to not see her face that Sunday. Approximately ten minutes after receiving this news, we encountered Marge’s two daughters who were at the home to retrieve a few of her items. Addressing us by our names, they asked us how we were doing. Initially, I was startled as to how these women whom I had never met knew my name. As it turns out, Marge is so excited about the library project that she shares all of the details with her family members. They expressed how excited Marge is about the library and how its keeping her optimistic even in the hospital.

Apparently, Marge’s daughters had purchased filing labels as per Marge’s instructions. Marge had created a color-coded key so that Elmcroft’s books could be neatly organized by genre and cover type. So, after obtaining an outline of specific instructions from Marge’s daughters, Ava, Emily, and I spent the next hour or so categorizing hundreds of books as fiction, non-fiction, biography, and reference.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” ~Oprah Winfrey

Sorting through the books!

1 Comment on Perpetuating Passions: The Library Project

  1. acz5079
    January 26, 2018 at 2:33 pm (3 weeks ago)

    Caitlin,

    This is amazing! I have heard other Schreyer students talking about Leadership Jumpstart, but I didn’t know what was involved until I read your articles – I think the Memory Initiative is an incredible opportunity to make a difference in a place most students don’t look. I love that this is a project that you came up with yourself, and I can tell that you’re actively making a difference for women like Marge (who seems like a total sweetheart.)

    Restoring the Elmcroft library seems like the perfect project to help Marge reignite her passion for books and her past as a librarian. I hope she recovers smoothly, but I’m so glad that she could still help you by sending directions to you – she’s so dedicated! I’m sure that being part of your restoration efforts will help her regain her strength – you should be proud that you were able to give that to her!

    I loved reading this article, and I can’t wait to read what you write next,
    Anna

    Reply

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