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Friday, March 30, 2018

The Power of a Post

Lately, everyone has been focused on the Facebook data scandal, but Facebook--and other social media platforms--still have the potential to jump-start change. Late last summer, the world was fascinated by a total solar eclipse. Libraries in particular used the event to draw crowds, pairing the wonders of natural science with informative speakers and hands-on activities. Martha Diehl, the branch manager of Jane Blaine Brewer Memorial Library in tiny Mount Olive, MS (2010 population estimate: 9821,) got the entire town involved with a "Sun Party" blowout that included food stands, a mini "train" ride, and of course, plenty of solar eclipse viewing glasses.

Pictures from the library's Sun Party

Diehl shared a picture advertising the event on her library system's Facebook page. The picture was seen by Julia Brewer Daily, the daughter of the woman for whom the library was named. Daily wanted to make a donation to replace the makeshift triple office desk with a real circulation desk. Her family has gotten on board and made additional donations to buy more books and standard office equipment and supplies. Grants are being explored as well, and could help with expansion into the vacated fire department next door. The local newspaper, The News-Commercial in Collins, MS, even ran a front page story on the sudden windfall.

The new desk has been installed and the staff say that it, along with the other donations are, a dream come true. It's amazing that one small post on Facebook led to a wealth of opportunity for this small Mississippi library.

If you'd like to make a donation to your local library for improvements, books, or other supplies, check with the library's branch manager first to see what they need. Donations can be made to libraries' friends organizations or go directly to the library if they're earmarked for a specific purpose.

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