Jumping for joy back in time with Jeannie Kays at Palm Springs Library

Jeannie Kays photographed by Eyoalha Baker for Jump for Joy Photo Project and Palm Springs Cultural Center Artist Residency

I appreciate the amount of thought and care Jeannie put into her jumping session. We met Jeannie at the Palm Springs Public Library where she is the Library Director. She created a 70’s themed jump of joy with meaningful items from her life. Jeannie told us that the building was built in 1975 and she wanted to include this beautiful car built in 1976 that had been left in a Will to her by her husband’s aunt.

Jeannie’s mother used to bring her to the library as a child because they didn’t have a lot of books. Jeannie became a librarian because of her love for books and reading, and she brought the actual books she learned to read with as a child. Jeannie is very passionate about helping children learn to read.

Also, it seems that book carrying librarians jumping for joy seemed threatening to someone in the area… and they called the police on us! lol As I was taking the photos, a police cruiser pulled up from the street to find out what dangerous mischief we were getting into… Just taking photos of a friendly neighbourhood librarian jumping for joy!

Get to know a little about Jeannie:
Q: What inspires you to jump for joy?
I have the best life! We live in paradise every day! I have a loving husband, adorable kitty, supportive and fun family, and I love my job as Library Director of the Palm Springs Public Library. The car in the photo is a 1976 Alfa Romeo Spider I inherited from my husband’s late aunt. Of course I’d love to have our aunt instead of the car, but this car is a jump for joy all its own. I thought it would be fun to have a car from 1976 in front of a Library from 1975.

Q: How was your experience doing the jumping photos?
From the very first jump, Eyoälha inspired me with her excited, overjoyed response at my jump. When you say positive things to people, they respond positively. Speaking kind words, smiling, and encouraging others makes people want to do better. Joy is contagious and it stays with you for HOURS!

Q: How do you describe the feeling of joy?
Joy means forgetting your troubles, laughing, relaxing, and seeing the good in everything. By setting your intention to think positively, you create joy for yourself and those around you.

Q: What is your greatest passion in life?
Some say to not let your career define you. When you have such an amazing career like I do, why not?! I LOVE being a Librarian. We do so much to help our community. My number one goal is to get books in the hands of kids. There are so many reasons why the simple act of getting books to kids makes a difference. When a child has access to books, they build their vocabulary, do better in school, and succeed in life. Reading to a child can change the world.

Q: How do you feel about being part of a community project that promotes joy?
I feel so fortunate to be included in the project. I hope that I can make others smile when they see my photo.

Q: If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?
Although I love my job, I’d probably travel all over the world, visit family more, read more books and magazines, and delete my email accounts.

Q: What are you working on or creating?
I am digitizing my family’s photos and videos and sharing them with relatives. When my grandmother passed away, her children divvied up the photo albums. I stopped them before the pictures were lost, scanned over 3,000 images, and am still cleaning up the files in my free time. The majority of the photos are shared on a website where all the relatives can access them. I also crochet baby blankets for new cousins being born into the family as a way to continue my grandma’s tradition. Luckily, I have several months’ warning when a baby is on the way as I’m a slow crocheter.

Q: Mini bio or something special you want to share.
When I was little, I only had a small collection of books that I owned, but my mom took me to the Library regularly to pick out new books to read. I LOVED my personally-owned books with all my heart and still have them to this day. The books in the photo are just a few of the ones I had. My favorite, The Little Red Hen is one of the first books I learned to read on my own and it taught me valuable lessons. It taught me to work hard, help others, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

“Not I,” said the cat.
“Not I,” said the dog.
“Not I,” said the mouse.
“Then I will,” said the little red hen.
And she did.

Twitter: @pslibrarylady
Instagram: @pslibrarylady
FB page: /jeannie.kays

Thank you Jeannie for your thoughtfulness and for sharing your joy with us!


Thank you to the Palm Springs Cultural Center inviting me to be your first Artist in residence and bringing the Jump for Joy Photo Project to the Coachella Valley.

If you live in the Coachella Valley and would like more info on the project, or would like to take part, email us: jumpforjoy@psculturalcenter.org


Follow Jump for Joy on:
Instagram: @jumpforjoyphotoproject
Twitter: @jumpforjoyphoto
Facebook: /JumpForJoyPhotoProject

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