Library helps community make connections

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Eddie* started attending Make It at the Library when he was about 6 years old.

The program had just begun, and his grandpa Jack* thought this would be a great way for the two of them to bond and learn about technology together. They were there every week to work on building a toy robot that required simple coding to program it. As the coding program became progressively more complex, Eddie thrived on learning with the warm encouragement and mentoring of grandpa Jack.

Eddie’s coding skills weren’t the only thing that was evolving. His interpersonal skills, budding work ethic, and relationship with his grandfather were transforming. As time went on, Eddie needed less guidance from Jack, but they continued to work together on more complex coding programs. Soon, Eddie’s skill level had surpassed that of the volunteers and staff who were running Make It. He was mentoring the other participants, showing up early to help set up and staying late to help put the various Make It activity supplies away. By the age of 10, he had developed marketable skills, but he had clearly gained much more from the experience.

Last spring, we learned that Eddie’s grandpa Jack had passed away. Imagine the powerful emotions that Eddie would feel as he reminisced on the times he spent with his grandpa every week at the library. What a valuable investment Jack made in his grandson.

We are not left to wonder how Jack felt about those memories or the impact Make It had on their relationship. In leu of flowers, Jack’s family requested that donations be made to the library’s Make It program.

I don’t know if Jack knew what our plans would be for the transformation of our weekly, portable Make It program — that it would become a permanent makerspace for all ages that would facilitate intergenerational mentoring and skill building. We broke ground on Your Library Transformation shortly after his passing. One thing is for sure, he would have been pleased that our community is coming together to make it happen.

This Tuesday, Nov. 28 is Giving Tuesday; a 24-hour national day of charitable giving. We are encouraging all those who plan to participate to consider giving just $5 toward Your Library Transformation.

A good feeling is always the primary return on giving, but we are also offering lasting donor recognition benefits, prize drawings (items donated by Sandpoint Super Drug and Sandpoint Starbucks, plus library swag), and other perks.

You can make your contribution online, via mail, or in-person at either of our branch libraries. You can find all of the details at or inside the library when you visit.

When Eddie steps into the public makerspace at the newly transformed Sandpoint Branch Library, I imagine he will consider the fond memories he made with grandpa Jack. From what I know about Eddie, he will probably want to pay Jack’s gift forward by helping others to see how the library transforms lives. How will you feel, knowing you were part of the community that made it happen?

Make It at the Library (Sandpoint) is on haitus during construction, but we continue to organize other valuable community workshops and events for all ages.

Here’s what we have planned this week:

• Friday, Nov. 24 — NaNoWriMoTeen Writers Club, 3:30 p.m. November is National Novel Writing Month and for teens who write, it means putting the finishing touches on your 50,000-word novel. NaNoWriMo is the theme for this week’s workshop. Writing supplies and refreshments provided. For more information, contact Morgan, 263-6930, ext. 1245.

• Tuesday, Nov. 28 — Giving Tuesday. A national 24-hour day of charitable giving folowing Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Our community’s collaborative $5 contributions toward Your Library Transformation will help us meet our goal of $2,400 in 24 hours. Sandpoint Friends of the Library will match donations dollar for dollar up to $1,500. For details, visit or call Marcy at 263-6930, ext. 1204.

• Tuesday, Nov. 28 — KRFY Morning Show, 8:30 a.m. Get the full scoop and latest updates on Your Library Transformation, the Sandpoint library’s remodel and expansion project, and how your $5 Giving Tuesday participation gives back. Tune in to 88.5 FM.

• Tuesday, Nov. 28 — Mother Goose, 10:15 a.m., the library’s Story Times will be at Creations on the Cedar St. Bridge for a while due to the construction project. Stories and singing for babies and toddlers 0-3 yrs and caregivers. Information:

• Tuesday, Nov. 28 — Preschool Story Time, 11 a.m., Creations. Stories and crafts for kids ages 2-5 years. The library’s Story Times will be at Creations on the Cedar St. Bridge for a while due to the construction project. Information:

• Tuesday, Nov. 28 — Robotics with Lego Mindstorm, 3 p.m. Learn to build or code. For boys and girls age 8-plus at the East Bonner County Library District Clark Fork branch, 601 Main.

• Wednesday, Nov. 29 — Clark Fork Stories & More, 10:30 a.m. Stories and more is back after taking a few weeks off. Kids and their caregivers enjoy story time, songs, snacks, and crafts at the Clark Fork Branch Library, 601 Main.

• Wednesday, Nov. 29 — Make It at the Library, 2 p.m., at the Clark Fork branch library. Tweens & teens make a variety of STEAM projects. Information: 266-1321.

• Friday, Dec. 1 to Saturday, Dec. 2 — Autumn reading silent auction, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. You’ve been logging your reads since September. Now you can cash your reading logs in for “auction bucks” to be spent at the annual Holiday Silent Auction at the Clark Fork Library, 601 Main St. Call the Clark Fork Library for information, 266-1321.

• Saturday, Dec. 2 — Fairy Tale Story Time at the museum, 11 a.m. The Bonner County History Museum welcomes a special guest for the December First Free Saturday (sponsored by Marilyn Sabella). Children’s services librarian, Suzanne Davis will host a special story time to highlight the museum’s temporary exhibit, “Once Upon a Time … In Bonner County.” Bring the whole family to tour the collection that curator Heather Upton reimagines into popular fairy tales while experiencing magical story telling and complimentary cookies and punch. For more information, contact the museum at 263-2344.

Marcy Timblin is in charge of public relations, marketing and community development for the East Bonner County Library District. She can be reached at 208-263-6930, ext. 1204. * The names have been changed for privacy.

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