A summer at the library

Gunner Youmans is a senior at Appling Christian Academy and an honor student. He has completed four dual enrollment classes with Coastal Pines as well, including Spanish, U.S. History, and English 1101 and 1102. Obviously, he recognizes the value of education and works hard at it.

Last May, when school ended, he was determined to find a job for the summer. He explored his options here in his little hometown and decided that working at the library would be the perfect job for him. What could be better? Some of his fondest memories of childhood involve his grandparents reading to him. He lives with his grandparents, Tommy and Debra Youmans, but his other grandparents, Karylan and Myles Webb did their share of reading to him, too. They read book after book, night after night, and he never tired of them. He’d always beg for more. When he was old enough to read to himself, reading became his favorite hobby and amazing entertainment. He consumed the Divergent and Hunger Games series. He’s a big fan of the Twilight series. He couldn’t get enough of Harry Potter. As a matter of fact, he confided that he’s rereading those books right now.

“When I was in second grade,” Gunner said, “I won second place for the highest number of AR points. It’s been a long time, but I well remember how excited I was. I thought working at the library would be the perfect job for me. I’m a quiet person; I thought the library would be a quiet place to work. Lots of my ideas about a library job were wrong.”

Natorra Moody, acting manager of the Appling County Public Library this summer, says that they had decided not to hire any one for the summer, but when she kept getting letters from Gunner, she was intrigued. She called him in, talked just a bit, and hired him on the spot. Anyone who wanted that much to work at the library and had that much persistence deserved a job there. She provided all the paperwork he needed; just like that, he became an employee of the library—a valuable one, as it turns out.

Gunner arrived to his first day of work and found a completely empty building—no books, no furniture, no computers, nothing. Needless to say, that’s not what he expected. One of his jobs was to help move everything in, sort it, and shelve it. His second week they put in the furniture. When the books came home, the prisoners did the heavy lifting by bringing in the big boxes from their storage place, but Gunner’s job wasn’t sitting and checking out books to people. He had lots of heavy lifting to do himself and worked hard.

“It’s been fun,” he said. “I liked all the people I worked with and they helped me all they could. We worked together well to get things done. I also realized how important those lessons from my grandparents were. They taught me how to drive, the importance of education and such other things, but they also taught me to work hard and not be lazy. That was really important this summer.”

He has taught himself to speak Japanese by working with programs on the internet. His aunt, Naoko, is Japanese. She is married to his Uncle William Sinrich, who met her in Japan, where she was a translator. She communicates with Gunner by texting in Japanese since she now lives in Connecticut. She tells him that when he’s just a bit older, they will go to Japan together and she’ll show him all the sights.

Gunner intends to go to college, but right now has no idea what he wants to do for a career. Perhaps library science would fit him. He’s never gotten below an A in any class he took, so he’s a diligent student. He should do well in that field. Maybe Fate placed him at the library this summer and will bring him back to manage it someday. Who knows what the future holds?

When Gunner isn’t working, he enjoys his time with his six-month old Yorkie, Tucker. His family attends Asbury Church.