This Girl Scout Is Working to Bring Her Library into the 21st Century

By: Natalie Shoemaker, Advancement Coordinator

mara downsville

I met not one, not two, but three Girl Scouts at the Downsville Volunteer Fire Department Celebration–all working towards their Gold Award. Mara, a Girl Scout Ambassador, was the third.

All three of these girls are playing important an part within their community: Each one tackling a different need within their area. Gabby’s work has her building a shrine to honor the troops from her community, while Emily was working to help local first responders in a major way. Mara’s project would help bring her town’s library into the 21st Century. 

Remember card catalogs? Mara told me her town’s library still uses them–nothing is searchable online. So, she decided it would be her project to bring it up to code. Her project comes at a good time, as the Online Computer Library Center announced the death of library catalog cards last year.

She told me the entire project has been a learning experience and, much like Gabby’s project, there have been a lot of smaller initiatives to fund this larger project.

“I didn’t realize one barcode contained so much information,” she said. The title, date published, author, and more. So, there needs to be a database setup to contain all this information and then a system to update when things are checked-in and checked-out. There’s a lot to consider.

On top of all this research, Mara is also working to raise money to buy equipment for this project and talking with other town libraries to see if a merge with a larger branch might be best.

Mara says she still has a lot of work ahead of her. She seems to be doing a fantastic job. I’m sure her town will be glad when they can finally search for the availability of library books online.

We’re always looking to share stories about our girls and what they’re doing in and for their community. Send photos and info to nshoemaker@gsnypenn.org.

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