You may see children folding lots of paper at Cumberland County's seven public library branches this summer. It's part of the Summer of 1,000 Origami Yodas.
AMHERST – This is the Summer of the 1,000 Origami Yodas at Cumberland County’s public libraries.
As part of its summer reading program, the library system is encouraging children to make paper Yodas that will be hung at all the library branches across the system. Each of the libraries has a quota and a lot of progress has already been made.
“The theme of this summer’s reading program is make and in conjunction with that we are making Yodas,” deputy chief librarian Chantelle Taylor said.
The inspiration for the program came from one of the public libraries in Brooklyn, N.Y. Last year, the library had participants make 1,000 origami Yodas and the woman behind the program blogged about it. Taylor followed the blog and thought it would be a great idea for the Cumberland libraries.
“Library people are very good about sharing ideas and programs so we got the OK and the information on how to do it,” Taylor said. “We want to have 1,000 made at all seven branches.”
1,000 Origami Yodas is based on the book The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, the first in a popular fiction series by Tom Angleberger. The books are about how a kid named Dwight and his Origami Yoda finger puppet help the students of the Ralph McQuarrie Middle School solve all their problems.
Origami originated in Japan where there is a tradition that if someone folds 1,000 Origami cranes, they will either enjoy good fortune or have a wish come true.
“We figured that folding 1,000 origami Yodas would not only bring us good luck, but will also fill the library with Jedi wisdom and the good side of the force,” Taylor said.
Chief librarian Denise Corey is confident the libraries will meet, or exceed, their goal. She said the program started June 1 and already they have a couple hundred completed at the seven branches.
“At first we thought 1,000 was an ambitious, but it’s really easy to do and we’ve put instructions on all the tables here at the library,” Corey said. “We have the sheets at all the branches and the directions are quite simple.”
Corey said members of the library board and students from Cumberland North Academy and E.B. Chandler Junior High, as well as the morning show at Tantramar Community Radio have already completed a number of Yodas while another class is coming from Spring Street Academy.
“It’s been a big success so far,” Corey said. “We’re going to get people in town to help out as well. Maybe we’ll ask the mayor and council to do some Yodas for us.”
More origami Yodas will be made during the summer reading club kickoff on Thursday, June 26.
Corey said Angleberger has even offered to sign a poster and send to the library if the goal is met.
The deadline is Aug. 30.