Misawa’s Mobile Library

  • Published

One member of Team Misawa is trying to spread positivity by delivering classic entertainment to others on base.

Mr. Charles Mason is the proud owner of the Free Yellow Door Library, a collection of donated books inside a refrigerator outside of his house off base. Mason started this initiative as a way to recycle gently-used books and spread positivity to Team Misawa.

In order to reach a larger audience, Mason often brings books onto base. However, not everyone in Misawa can easily borrow books from Mr. Mason’s library, especially people in unique circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Misawa, and many other places throughout Japan, a recent spike in COVID-19 cases has resulted in many service members and families in isolation or quarantine.

The quick COVID-19 mitigation efforts can catch some people off guard, allowing time to pack only essentials prior to isolation. Members and families are restricted to their residence to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is also known as Restriction of Movement (ROM). During ROM, many have to rely on others to drop off additional items they might need or want like personal entertainment.

After speaking to a friend, Mr. Mason thought people might enjoy having his books to read during their ROM. He set up an online signup sheet where people can request books to be dropped off to help make ROM a more comfortable experience. 

“So that's where it got developed. Go online, enter in the ages of your family members, even the adults, and we’ll deliver two books per person,” said Mr. Mason. “We’ll put them in a bag and drop it off at your door.” 

This is Mason's second time here at Misawa and he’s very fond of the community. He wants to bring the same positive energy he felt back then to the people who are here today.

As a member of Team Misawa, Mason believes doing these kinds of services, and reaching out to people, strengthens the community. In addition to the Free Yellow Door Library initiative, he works with the Food Pantry on base to supply ROM Bags, a prepared food kit and household items for sponsors to give to incoming members when they enter ROM. 

“It’s people like Charles that make Misawa a family,” said Mrs. Audrey Meininger, spouse of the 35th Fighter Wing command chief. “I hope things like this catch on and inspire others to spread kindness.” 

To Mason, it’s not solely about books or giving people something to do.

“It's all about helping each other,” said Mason. “My wife and I definitely want to make sure Misawa members have a great time. We love it here. We think it's such an amazing assignment.”