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The Mayor Says Thanks

By RD Heldenfels Published: October 25, 2005

Terry Nill, the mayor of Mineral City, Ohio, called me today to ask people to stop being so generous.

If you've been reading some of my writing about the ''Three Wishes'' visit to Northeast Ohio, you know that Mineral City received a new library from the show -- in tribute to Nicole Donant, a girl from nearby Bolivar who collected 6,000 books for a village library.

In addition to running a story about the library, the Beacon Journal ran a phone number that people could call if they had more books to donate. Nill said that another 1,000 books came in after that item ran. And people are still calling; I chatted today with a lady who wanted to give the library more books.

The mayor was thrilled by the response. ''We appreciate the help,'' he said. Still, he is asking people stop giving the library books, at least for the time being.

''We're out of bookshelves!'' he said with a laugh. More to the point, the library needs to catalog what it has received before it takes in more.

At the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna -- a risk I seldom take, by the way -- this remains a demonstration of the good the people, and the media, can do.

You start with Nicole, who wanted the library and collected the books. Then the Times Reporter newspaper in Dover-New Philadelphia took notice. Then came ''Three Wishes,'' offering help. That led to Beacon Journal coverage, which led more people to empty their shelves to help the library.

Those are events to warm the heart, especially on a cold and rainy day.

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