our kinder community is made up of little people
who have made all kinds of big choices.
“what is a community? it is the sum total of our choices.”
― fredrik backman
Turkish Garbage Collectors Open Library Full of Discarded Books
Turkish garbage collectors in the country’s capital city of Ankara have opened a public library that is full of books that were originally destined to be put into landfill. The workers began collecting discarded books and opened the new library in the Çankaya district of Ankara. News of the library has spread and now people have begun donating books directly to the library, rather than throwing them away.
As CNN reports, the library was originally created for the use of the employees friends and family but, as it grew in size, the library was officially opened to the public in September of last year. “We started to discuss the idea of creating a library from these books. And when everyone supported it, this project happened,” said Çankaya Mayor Alper Tasdelen, whose local government spearheaded the opening of the library.
The library now has over 6,000 fiction and non-fiction books and includes a children’s section, an area dedicated to scientific research books, and a number of English and French language books for those who are bilingual. The library building itself used to be a brick factory and is located at the sanitation department HQ. The building featured long corridors and an aged brick facade and transformed perfectly into a library.
Books can be withdrawn for two weeks at a time, with an extension available if required. The library’s collection has now become so vast that it loans many of the books to schools, educational programs, and even prisons.“Village schoolteachers from all over Turkey are requesting books,” Tasdelen said. The library has also created new job opportunities as it requires full time staff to run and support it.
The library has proven to be a huge hit with the community. Children of the employees often enjoy reading there and local school children visit to study. Local cyclists who pedal through the nearby valley often take a break there and enjoy the lounge area and chess boards. “Before, I wished that I had a library in my house. Now we have a library here,” Serhat Baytemur, a 32-year-old garbage collector, told state media.
“ours is a culture and a time immensely rich in trash as it is in treasures.”
― ray bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
credits: kerrytown bookfest, forreadingaddicts.co.uk,cnn
New Year, New You!
Everyone starts fresh in 2018 with all late fees waived.
what a generous surprise gift from our library!
another reason why our community loves and supports them.
“amnesty is as good for those who give it as for those who receive it.
it has the admirable quality of bestowing mercy on both sides. “
from july 3rd-october 30th, i spent much of my free time walking the parks in ann arbor. i was initially surprised that there were over 150 parks in the city, but happy to discover the number. and so, with no sense of direction, and no expectations, other than to see what was out there, i wandered into the woods and stumbled into the greenspaces, open to whatever came my way.
some of the things i discovered about the parks –
ann arbor has 152 parks, along with other recreational and activity spaces
not all of the parks were easy to find or to access, information and directions were vague at times – there were many secret entrances. during this adventure, i had to climb though brambles, through backyards, across driveways, park illegally, go over and under fences, across ravines, around hills, between fences, over water, under low trees, and behind school yards.
the parks total over 2,000 acres (more on that tomorrow)
they range in size from the tiniest pocket parks (postman’s rest and depot) to the largest- birdhills (161 acres) and the nichols arboretum (123 acres)
many different people/organizations help to care for them – the university of michigan school of natural resources, the boy and girl scouts, garden clubs, sportsmen’s clubs, land preservation groups, businesses, neighbors, schools, churches, anonymous individuals
they are used for all kinds of celebrations, get togethers, meetings, activities, sports in every season, as well as solitary endeavors
all kinds and ages of people and animals use the parks
there is a lot of water involved – rivers, creeks, streams, lakes
lots of trees, wildflowers, corn, berries, pine cones, apples, orchids, peonies, lilies, mushrooms, thistles, brambles, green spaces, vines, grasses, ravines, hills, fields, marshes, meadows
lots of rocks – from boulders to gravel
play areas of all kinds – for toddlers through adult sports enthusiasts
lots of structures – tree houses, forts, damns, benches, tables, huts, camp sites
lots of animals of every kind
incredible histories and memorials
lots of neighborhood parks – each has at least one park within it
at times i felt like i was in someone’s intimate space, like showing up and sharing their yard with them
other times, i was the only one in a large, incredibly beautiful space, in the middle of the city, or just on the outskirts, but deep in the woods, hidden away and far removed
some of the things i discovered about myself:
i am stronger and have much more stamina than when i began walking
i am apparently bite and injury resistant – never was bitten by any insect, animal, or human, only got scraped after my slide down a hill
i love walking deep in the woods in quiet solitude
it takes me about 40 minutes before i am deep in my zen zone when walking and then i could walk forever
i also love being amidst the wildlife and human activity in the parks at times
i went through 1 and 1/2 pairs of shoes
i discovered interesting lost/abandoned items along the way – mittens, socks, flip flops, shorts, underwear, glasses….
i am now a bit wealthier – (found 28 cents along the way)
i am able to walk in all weather conditions
i still have a horrendous sense of direction but always find my way back home
i found so much more than i ever expected, including an incredible sense of peace, and feel changed in ways that will stay with me forever
each and every park has a story, each one has its own personality, each one has very loyal caretakers, each one is valued by the community, each one is clearly loved by someone.
it was a long, but wonderful journey and when i finally reached the end of the list, it was bittersweet. along the way, i learned much about my city, the people who live here, the spaces within my community, the nature that surrounds me, and even more about myself. thank you to ann arbor for providing such amazing places of beauty for all of us .
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased.”