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HOW I FOUND BELONGING IN MY NEW COMMUNITY


The universe is conspiring in my favor…always. Serendipity brought my family to Barrington. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines serendipity as “the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.”  When we purchased our home in Barrington, we knew extraordinarily little about this community. The universe absolutely conspired in our favor by locating the house we purchased in the amazing town of Barrington!


A few months after moving here from Spokane, Washington I began my search for a way to belong to this community. I found my “Belonging Moment” when I visited The Friends of the Barrington Public Library’s Summer Book Sale in 2023.


I found a plethora of donated books for sale: adult books, books for children and teens and lots of media as well. I had made the cross-country move with very few of my books and this was a way to bring new ones into my home.


More than giving me a way to purchase books, The Friends of the Barrington Library provided me with a community service outlet; a way to be in service and give back to Barrington. Community members donate books, volunteers clean those books and sort them into categories. The Best of the Best books go into the Daily Book Sale for immediate purchase. The rest are saved for the twice-a-year Book Sales. All proceeds from these donations are used to support library programs. Through fundraising and the membership program, The Friends supports more than 85% of the Barrington Public Library’s programs.


I volunteer twice a week for two hours each day. I clean and sort the donated books. It is quiet work that is simultaneously a treasure hunt! I often come across buried treasure; a signed first edition, an old familiar book friend that has guided my own reading journey, or a perfect book for the Daily Book Sale. I really enjoy this work and it brings me joy. I also love that I can connect with like-minded individuals who also find joy in supporting the Barrington Public Library and its many varied programs.

 

Libraries make communities healthier and help connect a community with one another. Andrew Carnegie said, “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.”


Belonging somewhere or to something is a basic human need. For me belonging is a path of joy and service. I have always been drawn to libraries and fell in love with the Barrington Public Library immediately after purchasing our home here. Volunteering with The Friends of the Barrington Public Library has connected me to my new community.


What brings people together in a town or a city? I believe our commitment to help each other out brings us together. I see examples of this in Barrington daily. This commitment of being in service to others is what keeps Barrington thriving and connected.

 

Bonnie Aspen

Board Member

Friends of the Barrington Public Library







 

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