Oh My, How We Have Grown!
In December, I think many of us find ourselves reflecting over accomplishments of the previous year. I often do this on New Year’s Eve; my husband, Tom, and I chat over dinner and drinks about memorable events that stood out for us in the previous twelve months. Once I advanced into management for work, I encouraged my team to review achievements in a similar fashion. At a time when it was so easy to feel consumed with what was in front of us, looking back on what we had done together was inspiring and provided motivation for the work ahead.
At the end of this year, I find myself pondering the future of Gal’s Guide Library. We and Nickel Plate Arts (NPA) are bursting at the seams and can use more space. There are a variety of ways that this can happen – all are very exciting, but all require planning and effort. The beginning of the year is always busy for us, too – anthology publication and launch, an art show, Galentine’s Day, all building up to Women’s History Month in March and Fairyville in April. Many of these events are big and require support from Gal’s Guide staff, patrons, and volunteers. Heck, Women’s History is an entire month of programming. I am exhausted just thinking about it.
To balance that out, I decided to do what I did with Tom and my teams at work – reflect on our accomplishments. My review went back to March, 2020. Many of us will remember that as the month that the pandemic struck with full force. However, another significant development that month was the opening of the Gal’s Guide Library. I attended the opening at NPA after discovering Dr. Leah Leach and her efforts online and becoming a financial supporter. The opening had drinks, swag bags, and a photographer to capture the magical moments. And I do mean magical – there were even tiaras! The library’s first official location (outside of Leah’s living room) was smaller than my closet. Granted, I have a large closet, but the library was appropriately sized for just over 1000 books. Leah likes to call it our small but mighty library, and I was blessed to play a supporting role. Since March of 2020, we have moved locations once, tripling our space, and we now have over 5000 titles.
In addition to physical growth, we have expanded our mission. While we had limited online offerings at first, we increased our options due to the pandemic – book clubs, podcasts, readings, and other programming. Many other events have taken place with the assistance of library staff and volunteers. We published our first anthology through Gal’s Guide Press and are preparing for our second, both seeded by participants from a writing class; the class was originally funded through a grant from the Pacer’s organization and has been hugely successful for us. We currently have a call-out for our second art show that will be held at NPA during 2023’s Women’s History Month. We offer a Girl Scout Patch and house LGBTQ+ and Girl’s Positivity Club meetups. We also established relationships with several public libraries, the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce, Women in Noblesville (WIN), farmers’s markets, authors, and publishers. The list goes on and on. We continue to expand and evolve the way in which we serve our home, NPA and the community of Noblesville.
The reflection on what we have accomplished takes me right up to this year. We were nominated for several awards, and Advancing Noblesville awarded us Community and Public Service Organization of the Year, recognizing Gal’s Guide as a key contributor with respect to the city’s advancement and success. We are humbled and hope to continue to be worthy of this award in all that we do in serving our wonderful community of Noblesville.
After this end of year reflection, I couldn’t help but think, oh my, how we have grown!
Looking forward, our wish is for continued growth and evolution. We invite you to join our ranks and help with the chapters that lie ahead.
Until then, we wish you Happy Holidays and joyous prosperity in the New Year! 2023, here we come!
Now – Go Be You!