Sturm Memorial Library • 130 North Bridge Street, Manawa, WI 54949 • (920) 596-2252 | Contact Us

This cart and its contents on a Monday morning in May epitomize the life of a small town library director. It's everything for the Library that accumulated in my car over the coarse of a week-end. In addition to managing day to day operations of a library, we are working it pretty much all of the time. If nothing on this cart reminds you of anything related to traditional library work you would not be alone in reaching that conclusion. But any kindred library director can probably surmise what the backstory is with the contents in this photograph.

The big rectangular bag, (which I purchased for myself but quickly became “the library bag”) holds old vinyl albums that I talked the owner of Booksellers of Waupaca (thank you John Ryan) into donating to the Library for a DIY program we’ll be doing this summer. Vinyl is making a comeback and it will be making its comeback here at the Library in more ways than one. The bottles of soda were donated by my neighbor (Thank you Laura) who found a deal she could not resist and thought of the Library. The paper bag contains all kinds of things. Visible on top are 10 fleece drawstring bags that we use as “Discovery” bags for our Babygarten program. We take turns taking them home and washing them after they are used a few times. Below the fleece bags are about four books that I’ve spent my evenings and week-ends reading in preparation for the summer reading program. We read a lot of youth books this time of year to get kids fired up about reading over the summer. Below the books are Library Journal magazines that we get as part of a shared subscription with three other libraries. We may be reading them a couple of months after publication but it saves the library over $100.00 a year. Below those Library Journals are some stickers that my sister donated to the Library (thank you Mary) – she herself was a school librarian and knows the value of stickers to any library.

Behind the paper bag you can see the straps of my “mail bag”. It is extra full today because I didn’t get the mail Friday due to the fact that I was at the school district Color Run. (What a fun day that was BTW) I normally pick up the mail every day because if it isn’t picked up daily the box fills up quickly. Picking up the mail often means hauling packages too because some companies won’t ship to our door using UPS. Today there were no packages. Hurrah!

I don’t haul this much stuff into the Library after every week-end but it’s not unusual for us to have get the “big cart” out or to make more than one trip to our cars to unload this and that for the Library.  It’s all part of our normal routine but once in a while the sheer amount of stuff that I haul on a given day makes me pause and take a photograph and write a story about it.