It’s a beautiful Saturday morning at the Caviglia-Arivaca Library. People come in and out to get their books or use the computers. From outside we hear young voices followed by laughter. The noise becomes louder and louder until the front door opens. The little bell hanging above the door chimes and in come two boys, ages 13 and 11.
They seem out of breath, which means they ran here. They say hi and start a friendly conversation about their plans for the week. After that, they head to the computers and, with library card numbers memorized, they log in and start playing games online.
Meet Sky and Sebastian, brothers who live in the small town of Arivaca, Arizona. They love coming to the library to hang out, use the computers, and sometimes join us at our monthly drop-in craft program.
The first time they came to the Library, Sky was 10 and Sebastian was 8. They used the computers to do research for school reports. Sky was writing about Donald Trump, and Sebastian was researching Hillary Clinton.
“A lot of people kept talking about the library, and everyone was coming here so we wanted to check it out,” Sky said. “I was just following Sky,” Sebastian added.
The brothers enjoy playing Roblox, but Sebastian says, “There’s a lot to choose from at the Library, and you can play games with other people online.”
Socializing is a recurring subject when the boys talk about why they like the Library. Sky says, “This library is not like others. People actually know each other and it’s not as crowded.” For Sebastian, it’s about the staff. He says, “They’re so nice, and they always have interesting stuff to talk about."
Sky’s favorite book, Everything You Need to Ace Math in One Big Fat Notebook, helped him survive 5th grade. He says he wants to be a mathematician, while Sebastian aspires to be a musician. “My neighbor gave me a clarinet. I’ve been playing it for three years now.” His favorite book series is Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, a science fiction/fantasy about the adventures of 12-year old Artemis Fowl, who kidnaps a fairy for a ransom of gold to restore the family fortune. “I like the graphic novel version better, because I like looking at the illustrations.”
The boys also love coding. They were the first ones to sign up for the Library’s twice-monthly Code Club. When we told them about the club, Sky and Sebastian excitedly began telling us about the programs they know and use, including Gamestar Mechanics and Code Combat.
“What I like about coding,” says Sky, “is that it’s a fun way to create and change the elements of a game.” In the first meeting, he happily helped his friends when they were confused. “No one isn’t smart enough to code, they just don’t know because they haven’t learned it yet!”
Sky and Sebastian can be found at the library nearly every weekend and whenever they have breaks from school. We always miss them when they don’t come by.
Our hope for these boys is that, as they grow older, they will always see the library as a place where they can hang out, do their homework, play games, and just be themselves.
Sky and Sebastion are very lucky to grow up in a small town with a public library, and the library is equally lucky to call them our customers, and friends.