Facebook has received a lot of criticism recently, but for the Wellesley Free Library, Facebook proved to be a great friend. Maybe because the library is more than just about the books, and FB is more than just about advertising. At their best, both are about the community.
Michael Cohen returned from the U.K. recently, and realized that he had left a guide book that he had borrowed from the WFL at a shop at Borough Market in London. So on Nov. 16, Cohen made a request through the Facebook group What’s Up Wellesley, which has over 5,400 members, to find
someone who might be in London to be able to retrieve and return the book for him.
Forty-two comments and suggestions poured in over the next few days. One respondent volunteered their sister who lives in London to help (but the sister was not visiting again until Christmas, past the due date!), another suggested buying the Library a replacement copy online for $9 (the Library won’t accept outside replacement purchases), and another wondered why the London shop couldn’t mail the book back to Massachusetts (shop refused to mail it).
But the post from Paige Ford Fisher worked. She wrote, “Hi Michael. We are in London and I know the place. I’ll go get it and get it back to you. We are suppose to be coming back to Wellesley for Thanksgiving, but I’m sick. If we don’t make it my husband will be back next week for work. He can get it to you!”
What’s Up Wellesley founder Lianna Ramage considers the group’s ability to help people to be one of its successes. While she also admits that the administrators of the group have all had to deal with negative posts from time to time, she wrote, “We volunteer our time, and the whole point of the group is to foster a sense of community!”
This story has a happy ending. Finally, Fisher wrote, “It has been a fun project. Book was returned to Michael’s home last night while he was out. Not the most exciting picture moment, but what worked for schedules. I love Wellesley and the playful nature of our community! Excited to move home this summer! Until then…happy trails!”