This year in the Youth Department, we have been celebrating Thanksgiving every day of November with our Gratitude Tree. This cardboard tree stands tall in the center of our department, and invites patrons to write what they are thankful for on a colorful autumn leaf. Most children have written that they are thankful for food, families, and their friends, but the real beauty of the Gratitude Tree comes from the conversations between the librarians and children as the leaves are hung up. For instance…
Ruben (9th grade) is grateful for food and family because,
I get to cook with my mom, and when I grow up I want to be a Chef!
Cesar (7th grade) said,
I am truly thankful to be able to come to the library every day.
The Gratitude Tree has opened up a conversation between library users and staff about what really matters to each of us, and how some of those things are the same.
Head of Youth Services, Jill Martorano expressed,
I am grateful for this beautiful library, and to be able to work with so many amazing people!
Adult Services Librarian, Ryan said,
I’m thankful for family and friends. All of my family live in and around the Fox Cities and Green Bay, Wisconsin and live within driving distance. I’m thankful that my life experiences have taken me outside of Northeastern Wisconsin. I say this not as a way to disparage the area, but to appreciate that a move from the area in which I was raised has helped broaden my horizons. Thanks to this move, I’ve been able to experience the wonder and joy of Garrett’s popcorn and Portillo’s. I’ve also met some amazing people from various cultural backgrounds that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Everyone’s leaves may have different words written on them, but what we are all really grateful for comes down to the most basic of things: the kindness we receive from those around us. As November comes to a close here at the library, we hope to continue this conversation and this kindness with our patrons.
As for myself, I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to meet extraordinary and inspiring people this year, and for my family who listened to me toil over my final semester of graduate school. Also, my dog. I am super grateful for my big, slobbery dog.
Happy November, everyone!