Reading #FlashMob a Success!

60 people came to Albany’s Downtown Carnegie Library between 11am and noon on Feb 20th, Presidents Day, 2012 to celebrate their love of reading and support the historic library. Making the event dubbed a “reading #flashmob” a big success. Besides showing up to read event participants were encouraged to give a dollar to the library. The total collected during the event was $100.48.

Librarian Jason Darling was thrilled, “This will probably be our biggest day this month.” He was also excited by the number of people visiting the historic library for the first time.

One family even drove from Corvallis after learning of the event through Facebook.

The idea for this event came from reading this article in the Democrat Herald:

Albany’s downtown library to remain open on Fridays

By Cathy Ingalls, Albany Democrat-Herald | Posted: Monday, November 28, 2011 7:30 am

Albany’s downtown library will remain open on Fridays for at least the next six months.

A Friday closure was averted when the board of the Albany Public Library Foundation voted unanimously last week to spend $12,500 to maintain current hours until the end of the fiscal year on June 30. READ FULL STORY

Hearing that the library might have to close it’s doors one day a week DURING THE SUMMER, prompted me to action. Being a part of I had seen other groups organize reading #flashmobs, and thought that was something that I could do. So I reached out to a writer friend, and we began to plan Albany’s first reading #flashmob.

The idea was to raise awareness more than it was to raise money. But money talks, and it shows the city counsel that the citizens of Albany are willing to back the library. 60 people may not seem like much compared to the total population of Albany, but an avalanche can be started by a pebble. Getting people to come out and visit the library is the first step.

On board for the event were the Community After School Program (CAPS)  Ellen Hanson, president of the board and one of her granddaughters came out, as well as Cass Templeton the executive director. Rod Porsche of the Albany Visitors Association was there with his wife Kate Porsche, the Urban Renewal Manager for the Central Albany Revitalization Area (CARA) and their daughters. Mark Spence board president for the Albany Public Library Foundation was there with his family too. And, of course Oscar Hult was there from the Albany Downtown Association, happy to support any events that highlights the downtown area.

If you’d like to help us keep this historic library open through the summer there are several things you can do:

1. There are still T-Shirts of the I <3 Reading design for sale. Shirts are $10 ea and $4 of that goes to the library. Email me to order one.

2. Give to the Albany Library Foundation.

3. Write an email to the city counsel telling them you’d like to see the library remain open 5 days a week. You can find their email addresses on the City of Albany webpage.

4. Come to the Library Board Meeting Tuesday, March 27 5:00 p.m. Albany Public Library-Main, 2450 14th Avenue SE and voice your concerns.

5. Visit the Downtown Library, esp on Fridays. Every time someone walks through the door a counter automatically records their visit. Those numbers count at the end of the quarter when budget sheets are being balanced, and grants are being applied for, and cuts are weighed against public usage.

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