In the year or so that I have been at the Meeteetse Branch Library, we have done a lot of good things. We’ve had summer reading programs for both kids and grown-ups. We’ve had authors visit. We’ve relabelled all the children’s books and almost all the adult fiction in order to get rid of the wretched Cutter numbers. We’ve acquired more books, movies, audio books, and CDs. We’ve had story times for preschoolers and book discussion groups for adults. We’ve had classes on digital photography. But nothing, I repeat, nothing has been anywhere near as successful or as popular as our current bulletin board.
Yeah, you heard it: bulletin board.
Every year the school does a bulletin board featuring pictures of the graduating seniors from various points in their lives. (There are 16 graduating seniors this year, which is a pretty big class for around here.) This year, we at the library thought it would be neat if we did a bulletin board featuring senior pictures from faculty and staff. We collected the pictures (many of them we got from old Meeteetse schools yearbooks that we have here in the library), scanned them and resized them so they were all the same height, and put them up on the bulletin board outside our door.
They’ve been up for a couple of weeks now, and though traffic has died down somewhat, you still have to make your way through a crowd some times if you want to get from the library to the office. Eavesdropping around the bulletin board provides no end of entertainment: “Dude, Miss Linda was hot!” Kids stop by to look in between classes, as do teachers. Public library patrons (we’re a joint school/public library) often wander over to take a look, too. And everyone talks–about the hairstyles, about the clothes, about how much (or how little) everyone has changed.
That’s the crux of it, I think: we have simultaneously changed enormously and not changed a bit. Some were born here; the rest of us arrived in Meeteetse through some hidden mechanism of decision or fate. It is rich and strange and quite wonderful. You should be able to pick me out without too much difficulty.