Sometimes it’s the littlest voices that project the biggest sound. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much money you have, everyone’s voice deserves to be heard.
This was the case in the following story where a young girl from Utah stood up for what she believed in. She made her voice heard to people three and four times her age and the outcome was incredible…
A Little Girl With A Big Voice
“Would you like to sign to save the Carbon County Bookmobile?” That question greeted shoppers who walked into Smith’s Food and Drug in East Carbon, Utah, on Saturday afternoon. Not many people cared enough about the library to sign the petition, but October Hamilton certainly did.
The Mobile Library Was So Important To Her
She couldn’t afford to have the local library close for reasons unbeknownst to many at the time. October feared that her community would suffer the loss of a free reading system without their Bookmobile, the only source for books in the area…
Informed Young Girl
This ambitious 10-year-old started the petition to save the Bookmobile because “There’s no library in East Carbon and the Bookmobile will help kids to read during the summer.” When she heard the funding for the town’s little mobile library had been cut, she wanted to do something immediately.
Voted Against Renewing
The Carbon County Commission voted against renewing the contract with the Utah State Library Division and the county’s contribution that helps fund the local bookmobile on June 7. It was a unanimous vote. That next Thursday, October got to work…
Little League Game
She started the effort at her Little League game after learning of the decision when watching the Commission meeting on YouTube. October and her little brother, Tuxin Allen, and her mother, Sarandon Hamilton, spent a few hours on Saturday collecting signatures.
Commissioner Jae Potter explained his rationale in making the motion that Bookmobile’s contract would not be renewed. “Because of the number of stops they do make, it’s a very expensive program with limited books, limited exposure, especially where every school has a library…We have a public library, we are able to download and read online.” But, Potter was missing the point…
Commission Chairman Jake Mellor stepped down to second the motion saying, “Hopefully at a future date we can enter into more conversations with those other benefiting parties in the county and hopefully bring that back. But at the current time, I don’t believe we have the funding and revenue sufficient to justify its use.”
She Wasn’t Taking No For An Answer
But October wasn’t buying it. Her case was stronger and she knew it. Despite being only 10-years-old, October had a fire in her belly, and that fire came from helping her 6-year-old brother Tuxin…
Her Little Brother Has ADHD
Tuxin has ADHD which makes it hard for him to sit still. However, if you hand him a book, he’ll sit down and read the whole thing. October emphasized how big of a deal the mobile library was to everyone in the community, especially in East Carbon. “We don’t want to lose the program,” she said.
Determined And Motivated
So, that following Saturday, June 10, October stood outside the Smith’s Food and Drug in her neighborhood to ask customers if they’d like to sign to save to Bookmobile. Again, October gathered signatures with her younger brother and mother, although she did not stop there…
A Job Well Done By A Young Girl
By the next Carbon County Commission meeting on Wednesday, June 21, October had gathered hundreds of signatures. In the end, she presented about 1,000 to the board at their meeting, which received a round of applause from the crowd.
Her Big Chance To Be Heard
As October nervously approached the microphone, she shared with the members of the commission how much the Bookmobile meant to her and others and why it needed to be saved. When the board members asked her if there was anything else she would like to share, that’s when October opened up about her brother…
Reading Is Important To October’s Brother
“[My brother Tuxin has ADHD] and he can’t sit still for two seconds.” Most of the room was not only in tears but in awe of this inspiring young girl who literally was fighting for her right to read. Utah Library Division Director and State Librarian Donna Jones Morris spoke after October.
The Loss Of The Bookmobile Would Affect Many
She said that the Bookmobile is funded by the state and the counties, but the loss of county funding would result in the complete elimination of the bookmobile service. She said this would also mean a loss of jobs…
Help With Job Applications
Morris also noted that the Bookmobile is crucial for providing outer areas with wireless internet service at its stops. Some of the users must fill out job applications online and they require the Bookmobile to provide that service. That’s how important it is to the community.
It’s Necessary For The Community
In the past 11 months, around 32,000 items have been checked out from the Bookmobile by 2,900 card holders in Carbon County. Also, the cost of operating the Bookmobile is a lot less than having a brick and mortar library at all the locations that it serves…
The Bookmobile Is Very Important
In addition to the thousands of books on board, the bookmobile has access to 32,000 books, audio books, DVD movies, iPads and laptop computers. Morris emphasized that because of her position with the state, she could only provide information and can’t advocate.
Out Of Her Hands?
She told the Board, “I know your Carbon County Commissioners are doing the best they can with the dollars they have. But if there’s a way of reducing the cost of the service and yet maintaining the integrity, we’re willing to work with the county on whatever model is possible.” So, what did this mean for the livelihood of the Bookmobile? Was October able to save it?
A Little Girl Making A Big Difference
Ultimately, county leaders decided to fund the Bookmobile on a reduced schedule while asking schools and businesses to help pay for long-term funding. Thanks to October using her voice to stand up for the Bookmobile, she was able to make a huge difference.
The Power Of One Person
Carbon County Commission chair Jake Mellor praised October’s involvement saying that she made a real change in her community through her actions. “What [October] has done in the community with her petition has done more to raise attention for literacy than anything any local politician could have done.” This is proof that a 10-year-old can make a difference.