Sitkans joined tens of thousands of others around the world on Monday (4-23-12) distributing free books for World Book Night. The event began in the UK last year, and coincides with UNESCO’s World Book Day (which commemorates the death of Cervantes and the birth of Shakespeare). KCAW special correspondent Bill Foster sent this letter from Sitka’s book bus.
It was so successful that we ran out of books, especially children’s and youth books, by the time we got to the Pioneer Home and the Pioneer Bar. So we sent someone across the bridge to the Mt. Edgecumbe school, SEARHC and Coast Guard Housing to tell them we will be there Tuesday night (4-24-12). The last stop was Ernie’s.
There were people waiting at all stops! When we stopped the bus they came running. Some of the kids wanted to get on the bus, and they did. We put most of the books outside the bus on the ground in trays.
Some of the highlights for me were…
– As we were coming out of the Indian River homes area we stopped the Trooper bus headed to supper at Sawmill Cove. We got on the bus and said we knew that they (Trooper Recruits) had a lot of free time (got a good laugh) and probably could use some books. After we got off we could see them trading books.
– At the Pioneer Bar stop some kids were in the parking lot so some of us went in. We got interesting reactions. Some chose some books and others were somewhat amused but polite. Most continued on their quest to nurse a beer. At Ernie’s I told the bartender they had to finish the books before they could go home.
– At Sitka Community Hospital we had a mix of kids and Long Term Care residents with walkers and wheel chairs rushing the Book Bus.
– Ted Howard kept things lively with his mandolin music.
– Did some brainstorming about library slogans. KETTLESON LIBRARY: WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME. We considered opening a branch at the Baranof Brewery: “BEER AND BOOKS.” (We did leave a lot of books there.)