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A day of ordinary miracles

As I was thinking of a way to end my book on a positive note, I remembered this poster that appeared in Teacher-Librarian magazine back in 2005. Visit the webpage for a listing of many "miracles" that other readers contributed. The hoary original "A Day of Ordinary Miracles" can easily be found with a simple Google Search. 

A Day of Ordinary Miracles

I wish you a day of ordinary miracles.
A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself.
An unexpected phone call from an old friend.
Green stoplights on your way to work or shop.
I wish you a day of little things to rejoice in.
The fastest line at the grocery store.
A good sing along song on the radio.
Your keys right where you look.
I wish you a day of happiness and perfection.
I wish you little bite-size pieces of perfection that give you the funny feeling that God is smiling on you.
                                              - Anonymous

Yes, that crash you heard was your coffee cup hitting the floor. It’s not often this old cynic admits to reading such saccharine stuff as the small blessing above, let alone shares it. But yes, it is still me.

Thing is, I don't know anyone in education that doesn't appreciate these small miracles. Thankfully they occur in libraries perhaps more than anywhere else in schools. So here is my list ....

I wish you a day of ordinary (library) miracles and little things to rejoice in…

Eight hands that go up to request the title you’ve just book talked.
A computer that goes for an entire day without crashing.
A less-than-successful baking experiment taken to the teachers lounge, eaten before 10 am.
A child asking for another book “just like this one.”
Finding a "app" that saves you time.
Watching a student successfully use the newest database to find needed information. 
A parking spot close to the school door.
The principal saying a sincere thank-you.
An unexpected larger amount on your paycheck or a smaller amount on your mortgage payment.
A new book just published by your favorite author.
A student who is actually concerned about the quality of his work.
A dozen doughnuts as “thanks” for service above and beyond the call.
A quick and pleasant response from a technician.
Kids who want to help you.
A teacher saying out loud in the lounge how much she uses the online tool you showed her. 
A human voice on the phone when you expected a recording.
A student who wants to become a librarian when she grows up.
A chance to show a tech-tip to a teacher who thinks you are a “guru.”
A library with windows and sunbeams in the winter.
A request to use the library for a meeting because “it is the most pleasant room in the school.”
A smile of accomplishment from a student who shows you how to do something on your smartphone.
A quickly-answered reference question asked by a teacher.
A library aid you like and who likes you.
A call from a parent thanking you for the information on your webpage.
A student so absorbed in a book, he doesn’t hear the bell ring.
A call from a parent about a lost book found while cleaning.
A student who wants to hold your hand.
Students who give genuine praise to each other.

What strikes me as I read this list of “ordinary” miracles, is how we, ourselves, often make them happen. It is by treating others well that good is returned to us.

Any additions you'd like to make???

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Reader Comments (8)

Hi Doug,
Here is something that happened in our library-as I was discussing the upcoming Carl Hiaasen book Chomp that comes out at the end of May - my students wanted to be put on the waiting list for it right now
A request from my fifth graders to please hurry up and process the new award lists so that they could read them before they left for sixth grade.
Rati Singhal

April 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRati Singhal

Thanks for the reminder that it truly is the "little things" that count! I experienced many ordinary miracles today. In addition to several that you listed, my day was brightened by

1. a teacher telling his class how awesome their librarian is for creating a pathfinder for their project - and the students applauding me :)
2. students excited to learn that one of the resources they can use for generating citations will create a Works Cited page they can download
3. students asking for the username and password to access our state's databases from home (Yes - they have been given it before, but it's rewarding that they are thinking about using those resources from home.)
4. students bringing friends to the Circ Desk to check out books they recommended
5. students coming to hang out in the library before school

It was an awesome day - and the first day back after Spring Break. I love my job!

April 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFran Bullington

Thank you so much for listing these daily 'miracles", Doug. Too often, we are overwhelmed with the negativity and drudgery of work and we forget to focus on the many rewards and joys of our profession. I would like permission to share these 'moments' with my colleagues and remind them to rejoice in the small but uplifting rewards of our job.

April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarion Silk

Mentoring a student who is doing so well in reading that we can take a day off from reading to play a game of Battleship!

April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Posey

From the Land of the Retired:

Former students who "friend you" on Facebook.

Emails from former students thanking you for being there when they needed you.

April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacquie Henry

Hi Rati,

That's when you know you are really making a difference.


Hi Fran,

Very cool. Thanks for sharing these. I'd love having you as MY librarian!



Good one!


Hi Jacquie,

How nice to know the "miracles" extend beyond one's regular work years!


April 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

I have had the following on my clipboard for a number of years - I have no idea where it came from...

Most of us miss out on life's big prizes.
The Pulitzer.
The Nobel.
But we're all eligible for life's small pleasures.
A pat on the back.
A kiss behind the ear.
A four pound bass.
A full moon.
An empty parking space.
a crackling fire.
A great meal.
A glorious sunset.
Hot soup.
Cold beer.
Don't fret about copping life's grand awards.
Enjoy it's tiny delights.
There are plenty for all of us.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKenn Gorman

Hi Kenn,

Great list!


April 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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