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Every Hero Has a Story, but…

…not every hero knows his/her story. One of my heroes was a very ordinary neighbor on a street called Harlem Road in a small town in Galena, Ohio. I knew these neighbors as the Joneses and that’s all I know about them. I don’t know if they were rich or poor, if they had children of their own or if they rented their house like we did. I can, however, guarantee that the Joneses never knew what their simple gift at Christmas a week before I turned eight meant to me.

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First a little background. I was born into the middle of a family with eight kids who arrived in the space of nine years to one mother and one father. No twins. Middle kids in a large family with children so close in age usually feel like we get swept along with the crowd and perhaps a bit deprived of personal attention – a blessing at times and a curse at others. Understandably, it’s the oldest and youngest who get the most attention from the parents, first because each moment is new and last because they are the end of an era. In our family, that left four middle kids striving to stand out or blend in according to the bent of their temperaments.

Besides being one drop in the large bucket of the Burkitt Family, I also recall that much of what we kids had at our disposal for entertainment was communal property. There were plenty of books, crayons, construction paper, tinker toys, modeling clay, games, etc. but they belonged to all of us. We shared beds, baths and many of the toys we played with.

One year at Christmas for a reason I do not know, the Jones gave me and each of my seven siblings a book of his/her own carefully wrapped and taped. Though we made weekly trips to the library and it was my job to read to my younger siblings while my mom got dinner ready, it was the first time I had a book to call my own. The books were inexpensive and plain without illustrations. When I opened that book and started reading, at the age of eight, I fell in love with the story of Heidi, by Johanna Spyri. I wanted to meet Peter, the goat-herder and slip my hand into Grandfather’s. I wanted to taste goat cheese between thick slices of fresh-baked bread and experience all the sensory beauty of the Alps – hear the wind in the pines, smell the fresh mountain air, see the clear night sky, feel the warm sunshine on my shoulders and run up and down the steep mountain trails until I was breathless, then flop down in the field of flowers and laugh for pure joy.

As a little girl growing up in Ohio, the vivid description of Heidi’s life in the Alps and her longing to return there was beyond my experience but not my imagination. I wanted to stand on top of a mountain and touch the sky. It set my heart to dreaming that one day, I too would go to the Alps and live in the mountains.

The twisting road of life often takes us places we never thought we’d go, and I did wind up living in this high-mountain desert land in Central AZ and I touch the sky every single day. I even visited the Alps one summer week while living in Germany. It’s not that I strove to fulfill a childhood dream, but my adult experience was made richer and fuller because of the dream started in my eight-year-old heart. Because I had previously imagined the moments, while camping in the Alps I listened more closely to the wind in the pines, breathed more deeply of the scented mountain air and marveled more at the clear night sky. It was all Heidi had promised it would be and more. I thrilled to thunder rolling around the mountain basin one night and hiked a mountain gorge with my own family, pausing to catch my breath and feel the joy of living in a world where childhood dreams do become reality.

Not all heroes rush into a burning building, protect a person from harm, or rescue someone from the jaws of death. Some heroes simply plant seeds into hearts or open doors in the minds of others through simple acts or gifts without fully realizing what they’ve done. I don’t know if our neighbors, the Joneses, put much thought into the titles they chose to give to each of us or if they just did their best to distribute what they had according to our ages. I only know that an ordinary act from ordinary neighbors (with a very ordinary name) set my imagination to dreaming of possibilities that seemed extraordinary at the time and serve to remind me that any one of us could be a hero to someone somewhere… sometime.

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Library Offers FREE Digital Music and Movies via Website

If you are observant, you noticed when a couple of new icons appeared on the Library’s online catalog home page a few months ago. One is for Freegal® music and one is for Freegal® movies and Television content.

That’s because Camp Verde Community Library joined Library Ideas® network of Public Library websites that offer access to over 7 million songs, including Sony Music Entertainment’s catalog of legendary artists plus access to streaming movies and television content. We are the only library in Yavapai County offering this service at this time and are excited to offer a service that delivers great content, compatibility with lots of devices and simplicity of use. We think this will be incredibly popular and will help the Library further transition into the digital age.

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The Freegal® Music Service allows the Library to increase the size and diversity of its collection by offering access to over 28,000 music labels from 101 different countries. As downloadable or streaming files, Freegal® music cannot get scratched, jammed in your CD player, lost or stolen like music on CDs may and you don’t have to wait for someone to return it or for it to be placed on the shelf. No holds required, no due dates to remember and no overdue fees. In fact, you get to keep the songs you download as long as you want to. You can access Freegal® music from anywhere in the world with your mobile device, an Internet connection and your Camp Verde Community Library card.

Same goes for Freegal® Movies and Television Service. The Freegal® Movies and Television Service allows the Library to offer access to thousands of video selections from major content suppliers and independent filmmakers from the convenience of your personal computer or portable device at home or in the library through the Library’s website.

The Library’s agreement with Library Ideas® gives registered cardholders of Camp Verde Community Library the opportunity to download five Freegal® Music MP3 files each week and stream hours of music every day at no direct cost to you. In addition to songs and complete albums, Freegal® Music Service also has popular music videos for download. Freegal® Movies and Television Service allows you to stream three videos per week. The Library, through a Library Services and Technology Act 2014 grant awarded by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records a Division of the Secretary of State, pays a subscription fee to purchase access to the music and movie content so you can use it for free.

The Freegal® Music Service and Freegal® Movies and Television Service has free mobile apps for registered patrons with a valid Camp Verde Community Library card. The apps are available in the Apple® App Store and Google Play®. If you would like to learn more about how to download the apps and access Freegal® services join us on Friday, June 14, 2015 at 10am for a demonstration. Bring your own mobile device and your library card so you can get started using Freegal® music and movies right away.

About Library Ideas:  Library Ideas is a global leader in providing digital content to all kinds of libraries, and is located in Vienna, Virginia. The Company offers online music, movie, eBook and language learning solutions to libraries as part of its developing product suite. Library Ideas was named “One of the Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry for 2011-12” by EContent Magazine.

About Sony Music Entertainment: Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including Arista Nashville, Beach Street Records, BNA Records, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Epic Records, Essential Records, Flicker Records, Kemosabe Records, LaFace Records, Legacy Recordings, MASTERWORKS, Polo Grounds, RCA Records, RCA Nashville, Reunion Records, Roc Nation, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Syco Music, Verity Gospel Music Group, and Volcano Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.