STANTON, IA (May 8, 2014) — Kristin King of the Stanton Covenant Church, was the first in line to the local library’s books along a chain of more than 400 people who were transferring the volumes from the facility’s old location to its new more spacious site on Tuesday.
Kristin actually first handed off the library’s Valkommen sign to her husband, Pastor Matt King, “as a way of saying hello to the new library” in the historically Swedish town. A Bible was the first book.
By the end of the day, nearly 3,000 books—the entire children’s collection plus some fiction—had been transferred.
The transfer was a community-wide event that might as easily have been one of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon stories. It also drew the attention of the NBC Nightly News on which anchor Brian Williams introduced its coverage and praised the community.
About 420 of the town’s roughly 690 residents lined along a four-block stretch of streets that passed in front of businesses and white-framed houses. The library’s director, Jerry Gilliland, came up with the idea of making it a community event.
People began to line up around 8:30 a.m. in the morning, and Gilliland drove a golf cart while making sure everyone was in their places. “It was so much fun to be a part of and to see so many people,” said Kristin King, who is a substitute at the library and also is painting a mural at the new site.
Children, adults, and senior citizens all participated in the undertaking, which lasted about an hour and a half, she said.
Organizers said more books would have been transferred except the children kept stopping to look at each one. Yet no one was complaining about that.
The Kings moved to Stanton about a year ago. Matt King said it’s remarkable that Stanton, known for its water tower in the shape of a coffee pot, holds events such as lutefisk feeds. “We have loved living in a community for this sort of thing,” he told the Omaha World-Herald.