Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Music weekend! Build a library with a song

I have been practicing my ukulele like crazy the last week. Well, I should have been practicing like crazy, since the Banana Girls Marching Ukulele Band has a gig this Saturday, but in point of fact I have only been practicing like crazy for the last two nights. They're mostly songs I know, so I should be okay. Last night I confused myself a little by going back to my baritone. I quickly returned to my lovely concert uke—trouble at the festival if I forget which instrument I'm playing!

The Ester library is having its fifth music festival on Saturday (that's August 21st, all you music lovers, from 2 till who knows when—the BGs are appearing at 3 pm at Hartung Hall). I'm planning on making a pie for the pie contest, too.

The library has consumed an increasing amount of my time. I have to say, it's wonderful. Makes me feel like I'm doing something not only useful, but worthwhile in a lasting sense. Years from now, decades from now, the organizing that the library board is doing will have tangible results. There will be a building, an actual library that people in Ester can walk or bike to. It will have art on its walls, its grounds, in its very structure, that is made by Ester artists. The collections will have all kinds of information about Ester, and, because Ester residents have donated the books and movies and puzzles and games that are on its shelves, it will be particularly suited to the interests of the local populace.

Volunteers have come out of the woodwork to help on the library. Sometimes, I must admit, I feel quite grumpy about lack of help on this or that project, but when I sit back and think about it, really a lot of people do come to the various events and work parties and whatnot. Organizing records and volunteers is a lot of work in itself, but when people work on a project together, it creates a real sense of ownership and pride. It builds community, and something like a library is an amazing thing that will give back to the village, and keep on giving.

Volunteering is on the rise, fortunately:
Both the number of volunteers and the volunteer rate rose over the year ended in September 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. About 63.4 million people, or 26.8 percent of the population, volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2008 and September 2009. In 2008, the volunteer rate was 26.4 percent.
I think this is true in Ester, too, where community participation has always been high, but lately seems to be increasing.

Monique Musick came up with a beautiful phrase that fits the LiBerry Music Festival perfectly: "Build a library with a song." And that's what every one of the musicians playing this Saturday are doing: they are volunteering their time and skill to help build a library. Everyone who comes and donates at the door or enters a pie or bids on a judgeship or a pie is helping to build their community library.

And it'll be FUN!

No comments: