Beyond the Column

Larry's LaRue-minations

Coming attractions: Making a difference in Fife

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on March 1, 2013 at 11:37 am with No Comments »
March 1, 2013 11:37 am
Shawn Reynolds and librarian Tami Masenhimer
Shawn Reynolds and librarian Tami Masenhimer

We all like to think we can make a difference, and a column in tomorrow’s News Tribune is about two people in Fife – Shawn Reynolds Jr. and Tami Masenhimer – who have done that.

Less than 18 months ago, Reynolds walked into the Fife Library with daughter Kailee looking for a children’s book on Native Americans. Given that the library sits on Puyallap tribal land, there was no reason not to expect to find one.

They couldn’t.

Library supervisor Masenhimer didn’t have any. Reynolds, a tribal member, asked if he brought Native American media in, could she make use of it. She said she could and would.

Reynolds embarked on a personal crusade, a project he named Eagle Touch the Clouds and began by talking to the tribal council, friends and small publishers he knew had Native American titles.

The books, CDs and DVDs began coming in, gifted by the tribe, by authors, publishers and recording studios.  Everything Reynolds got, he gave to Masenhimer, who put the Pierce County Library in the loop.

Today, the Fife Library has four shelves dedicated to its Native American  collection, which includes children’s books.  Everything in the collection is available throughout the Pierce County Library system – and there’s a wait for much of it.

Good story. Good people. Read it tomorrow online or in the paper.

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