by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer
Madi Beck is living the dream of a true Pacific Northwesterner: reading and working with books, investing in the outdoors, and restoring a 14-foot camper to live in.
“My goal is to live in it within a year,” she says of the 1975 trailer she’s been gutting and working on during her spare time. Madi just graduated from high school, so it would be understandable if this intensive hobby was the only way she spent her summer. Instead, she spent five weeks volunteering to build trails in the Idaho wilderness with Northwest Youth Corps, an outdoor conservation program. This was her second summer with the organization, and it seems it has given her a purpose:
“I’m really passionate about being outside,” she says. Regarding next steps, she says, “The future is cloudy,” but she’s biding her time until an upcoming forestry job starts in summer 2020. She is also interested in AmeriCorps.
Her path to her work at the St. John’s library is a little clearer. “I love reading,” Madi says, “I’ve been reading since I was little. My mom is a reader and she got me into it.”
A few years ago Madi started volunteering every Friday as a paging list assistant, pulling holds for patrons at other libraries, to see if she was interested in a library science career. While that has taken a backseat to her conservation work, she still appreciates the library. “I love the people who work there,” she says. “They’re so kind and generous. I also love being around books.” She laughs. “The sad thing is I can’t check out the books I see” from the paging list, she says, since these are all sent as holds to patrons at other libraries.
When she’s not volunteering she works at Target, reads, or returns to the “water-damaged and moldy” trailer she hopes to call home one day. “I’d love to be mobile,” she says, “I want to travel the US and visit all the national parks.” Whether in a trailer or on the trail, I’m sure we’ll see Madi in the great outdoors in the future—probably with a book!
A few facts about Madi
Home library: St Johns
Currently reading: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Most influential book: The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
Favorite section to browse: “Definitely the fiction or sci-fi section.”
Favorite book from childhood: “Too many to choose from! My favorite childhood series were Harry Potter, Eragon, and Percy Jackson!”
Book that made you laugh or cry: “Where the Red Fern Grows can make me cry even thinking about it.”
Guilty pleasure: “Maybe reading teen fiction that’s way below my reading level, just to feel nostalgic.”
Favorite place to read: My bed.
E-reader or paper: “Paper for sure, but because I live on a boat I really appreciate an e-reader.”
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