"Joining different people with different ideas and gifts to contribute is truly beautiful...."
AlumnEYE Band is a cool, new local band that performs an array of diverse songs that are sure to get the crowd singing along. One surprising fact about this band, which will be performing on September 5th at Richland Library Main, is that two of the members, Brittian Gadson and Kyland Gadson, already have their own connection to Richland Library.
Both Brittian and Kyland spent much of their youth in the Children’s Room at Richland Library Main. Storytimes, learning from with Sherry Williams (who retired in 2016) and Leslie Tetreault (the Children and Teen Department Manager), and volunteering with Heather McCue, a Children’s Room Librarian. Fond memories of participating in programs such as fashion shows, talent shows, and the annual Augusta Baker’s Dozen Literary Festival still linger.
When they were both middle school students, Kyland and Brittian were Junior Volunteers in the Children’s Room, where, like other volunteers, assisted with various tasks, including alphabetizing books, cutting name tags to be given to small children attending programs, and preparing craft materials. Brittian explains, “Volunteering at Richland Library helped us learn a lot about teamwork, active listening, being on time and working a scheduled shift, paying attention to instructions and details, and performing tasks to the best of our abilities. All of these qualities have definitely come in handy in school, professional settings, and working with our band.”
Although lessons were learned and work was to be done, there was still certainly room for plenty of fun. Along with checking out his favorite titles, Brittian specifically remembers the famous mural gifted to the library by award-winning author Maurice Sendak. “One of my favorite memories at Richland Library is seeing the Where the Wild Things Are wall whenever we walked into the Children’s Room. I loved to play with all of the puzzles near the back of that area and check out different books with my mom.”
Kyland remembers the relationships that she built with her favorite librarians and how they made a profound impact on her life and her current position at a library. “I LOVED Storytime as a kid. Richland Library had the best and most animated storytellers. I also really enjoyed learning how to sew and make my own fashion creation and model it in one of the teen summer programs years ago. The best part about coming into the children's room was getting to chat with all the staff who became family to us! Ms. Sherry, Ms. Jenny [Dilworth], Heather and Mr. Darion [McCloud] literally watched us grow up during our time at the library and were a big part of the influence and interest in my day job working at a library currently! They created a wonderful and memorable atmosphere that I want to provide for others!”
Although the library might look a bit different from what they remember seeing while growing up, both Brittian and Kyland are excited about sharing their music with the library's patrons. Like the many people that visit the library everyday, Brittian knows that the band members that make up AlumnEYE Band are all different people who are able to contribute something new and interesting. "...In a band, joining different people with different ideas and gifts to contribute is truly beautiful, just like a new marriage. It can be exciting, funny, and confusing, sometimes a bit frustrating; but as you become more comfortable with one another, the product of that relationship becomes even greater."