Remember how the library used to look? I thought I’d make the feature image the original photo I took. It so does not look like this now. The sports trophies from 30 years ago are going some place else. There are new shelves salvaged from a closed school in the county. In one month, students have checked out over 300 books (keep in mind there are only 175 students).  Parents are checking out books. On Friday nights families are checking out DVDs (which given our cold weather is a GREAT thing). I introduced a kid to Tom Waits because of one of you and the opera AIDA because of someone else. YOU GUYS ROCK.

In a world where facts seem not to matter, it’s refreshing to hear kids talking smack that they don’t know a thing about and just going over and putting a book in front of them.  Yesterday , for example a junior high student was coming up with generalizations about African Americans in Los Angeles.  I was able to pull books out to show him some reading suggestions that might make him think differently. That’s what I was after and I thank you.

Here’s some photos from open house.


Whew! It finally happened. Though we’ve been open to the kids since Sept. 6th we finally got around to having a celebration with our community volunteers. Thanks again to all of you who made it happened. We just finished another giant batch of thank yous so hopefully those will go out this week.

It’s not easy writing a book, doing that mom thing, working half-time at a newspaper , and freelancing AND oh yeah volunteering for the Library Project but it is so worth it.

We still have a bureaucratic dark lord threatening to not let kids have access to books (thankfully she lives 30 minutes away and makes Dolores Umbridge sound warm and fuzzy), but she doesn’t have any jurisdiction for one of the two schools so we are okay –yay!

It’s funny to watch bureaucracy try to keep ownership but because of you and national coverage they haven’t been able to do so.

But the fun stuff.

We had a party! We set up our first adult book clubs for the community, and we celebrated our volunteers.


My volunteers! (That’s me in the red boots).

On top of that the sweet superintendent from the school district showed up with sandwiches and I steamed up a plate of tamales. It was fun.



We are by no means done. But we have come so far! And that’s all because of you and what you did by sending us books, carpets, bean bag chairs, and kindles. THANK YOU! We also thank Plumas Charter School and Indian Valley Academy for being so supportive through out and all our volunteers from IVA and our community members.

Up next we’re hoping to start taking authors up on their suggestion to have them come speak.  Also I will be the poet doing Poetry Out Loud with the schools –so shout out to you all for giving us a top notch poetry section.

We will be starting our film series soon once a week with films for the kids to watch after school while awaiting rides from parents.

Words really cannot express. Thank you.



  1. sharonecathcart

    It is so great to see this all come to fruition. I have a couple of young adult authors in my writing group whom I am sure would be delighted to come and speak with your students. Thanks for the opportunity to help out!

  2. Brian Greenwood

    What you and your students and volunteers and community have accomplished is nothing short of amazing! You had a vision and WOW! Amazing!

  3. Allyson McGill

    Hello! I thought I’d see where “Just One Book” is now after a couple of years, since I raided my own library and sent you many boxes of books. I love imagining the students taking out books, etc. It’s magical! I would like to send more books–are you still accepting them? Do I still send them to:

    Greenville HS/Indian Valley Academy Library Project
    Attention: Margaret Garcia
    117 Grand Street
    Greenville, CA 95947

    I ask because some months ago, I sent another box with a note inside asking how the library was going; I’d hoped to hear back, even a quick email, but I didn’t–so I do hope you got the box!

    Best wishes,
    Allyson McGill

    1. margaretelysiagarcia

      Hi Allyson!
      Well awhile back I posted here that the two schools split up. The address above is the Greenville High School address. Indian Valley Academy moved to the neighboring town. I am still library goddess with IVA and have set up libraries for prisoners, the Greenville Wellness Center, the Taylorsville Post Office library, as well as made donations of duplicates to Quincy High School and Loyalton High School. But I cannot volunteer everywhere so I let the GHS site manage itself. I think your books must have gone directly to the site and no one has responded. Teachers there that I know tell me the library gets used all the time which makes me happy. You read my mind though! I’m hoping to go to all the library sites and take photos and post them this fall. The books have done wonders in our remote communities in the High Sierras.

      1. afmcgill

        Hi and thank you!

        I’m a little confused as to which school is which. Are they both accepting books?

        I did order some through Amazon today—so, I guess they’ll go to the GHS school? I’m happy to help at whichever school needs books!

        I am also happy to help with your other book ventures, especially the prisons. Would you like me to send you books?

        All best wishes,

        But I hate to think of the Indian school being left out. Is there a way I can send books there?

      2. margaretelysiagarcia

        We still are doing just fine. Indian Valley Academy had to move into a smaller facility but we are making it work! One thing a few have been wanting is the Ms. Marvel book collection? I’m looking into that. When the schools split in two we had a set of them but they remained at the main school.

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