SOMERSET — On Tuesday, Dec. 18 over 110 students formed a book brigade that stretched from the town square westward to the new Perry County District Library Somerset Branch located at 117 West Main Street.
The students hailed from two schools in Somerset. Holy Trinity sent 28 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to the event while Somerset Elementary provided 90 third, fourth, and fifth graders.
The final rack containing library books from the old library stood at the far east end of the line where Madalyn Stalter from Holy Trinity was the first student to start the non-stop action until the final book was handed to the student at the end of the line.
Perry County Library Director Melissa Marolt could not remember exactly when it had occurred, but she says a similar event took place when Thornville opened the doors to their new library several years ago. She is hoping the excitement of participating in the Book Brigade will be much more than a symbolic act for the students involved.
“The kids are so invested in the move that we hope it makes them excited about their new library,” said a beaming Marolt.
Standing on the shady side of the street made the sunny Tuesday afternoon seem much colder than it should have. Two minutes or less into the books taking a left turn down the line of students to the new library, the excitement of the day chased away the chill.
The books picked up considerable speed as the students perfected their handoffs. There were at least two fumbles, but both were recovered by the home team. Although their classroom teachers kept a watchful eye on them, the students were having too good a time to misbehave.
At one point Mary Klingler, the Somerset Elementary librarian, looked to be leading or being serenaded by students singing various verses of Jingle Bells all at the same time.
Another Somerset teacher, Becky Foltz was not worried about the students becoming too boisterous because “this week is always wound up!”
One young teacher with 43 years of experience under her lesson plans was Karen Young, a teacher at Holy Trinity. She and Colleen Bowen had accompanied the middle schoolers from Holy Trinity. Eyebrows arched all around when Young announced she had 43 years of teaching experience.
“When someone asks me about retiring, I tell them I’ll know when it’s time,” laughed the most Young at heart teacher in the bunch.
The Grand Opening for the Somerset Branch of the Perry County Library District was Saturday, Dec. 29. Festivities began at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Melissa Marolt at 740-342-4194.