More than 650 people came out in Norman, Oklahoma to form a human chain more than a quarter-mile long used to help move children’s books from a closed branch of the local library to its new location across town.
The library put out a call looking for help to move the books and was overwhelmed with the response, with the volunteers moving the books 1,700 feet to the library’s new $39 million building.
“Some people were giddy,” Pioneer Library System spokesman Keith Merckx told MSN. “And some people called it bittersweet because of their attachment to the old building.”
Volunteer Sally Mae Johnston felt a little bit of both. Having moved to Norman 30 years ago when her husband relocated there for work.
She said one of the first things she did was get a library card, so while she’s pleased they’re getting a new building, she will miss the old one since she registered to vote there, learned how to use computers, took a Spanish course, and of course borrowed hundreds of books over the years.
The books that were moved were all fairy tales and other children’s books, largely because it allowed both kids and adults to pitch in.
The library even attached a GoPro camera to the front of a copy of Chicken Little so it could capture the move in action and keep the footage for posterity and to remember a time when the community came together.
“I’ve never done anything like that before,” said local hairstylist Aletha Hill, who decided to help out after being alerted to the event by some of her clients. “My daughters thought it was awesome. We can’t wait for the new library to open up.”
The event is said to have taken place over the period of 45 minutes, making it a quick but meaningful occasion for Norman residents.