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Today, Wednesday, is my usual day to volunteer at the library, but the library is not open this week. I’ll miss going, but what caused the closure makes me feel good. I’m not talking about the entryway roof collapse, blocking the door, from the glacier of ice and snow sliding off the main roof. I’m thinking of the aftermath.

On Sunday morning I drove to the Community Hall/Library to unexpectedly find I couldn’t get in safely, or even at all. I pulled the shovel out of my car, but stood, not knowing where to start on the snow and roofing in front. From across the road Brooke walked over to say she had just seen the collapse and texted her father. Minutes later Nan drove up, alerted via text by someone driving by earlier. We started to call Ben for a key to get in a side door, but he was halfway to us before his phone rang.

Once inside the Hall we dragged items, including some books, out of the entry-way before they were damaged by the water pouring in through the ceiling from the load of ice and snow. Shawn showed up to start planning how to deal with the unstable situation. Jeff and JD checked in trying to turn off electricity to the entryway.

Over time more and more neighbors came to work on a plan. Ken brought his Bobcat to clear snow and pull the roofing away. Many willing hands with ropes and saws arrived to work together to clear the debris and make the area safe. This took hours.

I wish I could list everyone who was there. Most I knew, some I didn’t. What I did know was that everyone who stopped by felt this community was worth taking care of and protecting. There are many differences here and we live miles apart along the Seward Highway. But we are truly a community in best possible sense.

I want to thank all of you who showed up, and those who would have had they known. I’m sure in this I speak for board members and volunteers involved in keeping the existence of the oldest continually functioning library in Alaska a reality.

So on this day, when I can’t go open the library, this is why I am not sad. Instead I’m feeling my love for this community - all of you.

Thank you Moose Pass,

Ellen O’Brien is a volunteer at the Moose Pass Public Library.

The Moose Pass Library is now open with expanded winter hours Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday 3-7 p.m., Tuesday 3-7 p.m., Wednesday 2-6 p.m.