Hobbs Library Family of the Year
At 11 months of age, Asaph Gomez doesn’t know what being a member of the Hobbs Public Library’s family of the year is all about. He does know he likes the cog toy with which he plays every week when his older sisters visit the library.
Asaph’s sisters, Hadassah, 4, Havah, 3, and Hannah, 6, are regular visitors at the library, accompanied by their mother, Sarah Gomez. They attend the weekly story hour, use library computers, and play with the toys in the children’s department as well as check out books to be read at home.
Sarah said she doesn’t read many books written for adults, “but I’m an expert on the ‘Berenstain Bears.’ We love those books.”
The Gomez family was recently named the 2018 Hobbs Municipal Library Family of the Year. The children are homeschooled, Sarah said. “We travel a lot and we felt like they would miss too much school, so we homeschool. It’s worked out well for us.”
Sarah said she never heard of the library family of the year award until she was notified that she and her family were named to receive the honor.
“I was so surprised,” she said. “We get to pick out a book that will be put in the library. We chose ‘Life in a Jar,’ by Jack Meyer. It’s a book for adults and from what I’ve read about it, it’s a book I want my children to read when they’re old enough.”
“Life in a Jar” begins during World War II, when Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, organized a rescue network of fellow social workers to save 2,500 Jewish children from certain death in the Warsaw ghetto. After the war, her heroism was suppressed by communist Poland and remained virtually unknown for 60 years.
Then, three high school girls from an economically depressed rural school district in southeast Kansas stumbled onto a reference about Sendler’s rescues. They used it as the basis for a high school history project, a play called “Life in a Jar.”
The book is the story not only of Sendler’s work, but also the work of the three high school girls who worked on the project and produced a play that has been produced throughout the world.
“I think it’s a really worthwhile book,” Sarah said.
Library director Sandy Farrell said choosing a library family of the year is a tradition several decades old.
“It started in 1960,” Farrell said. “All year long the library staff sees people come and go and how families react in the library. They choose candidates and then vote for them. The Gomez family is a really nice family. The children are well-behaved, they are a positive voice for the library, and they appreciate the value of the library to the whole community.”