Librarian Changes Lives on Mission Trip While Affecting Her Own
By Office of Communication
Posted on April 11, 2012, April 11, 2012

Glory Dalton is no Ms. Fix-It. Simply hanging a wall picture can prove to be something of a, well, challenge.

So what was Dalton doing in Guatemala - some 1,700 miles from her job as a Community Engagement Librarian - swinging hammers, pounding nails, and lugging buckets of water, rock and cement?

Dalton and a couple dozen other missionaries helped construct homes for families living in a mountainous village where endemic poverty is the norm.

Ever since her AmeriCorps days when she swung hammers for Habitat for Humanity, Dalton learned how there's nothing better than mixing her passions - travel and community service.

"My family has always been into service projects; my brothers were Eagle Scouts and I was a Girl Scout and my dad seem to be involved in everything," said Dalton, who grew up in Arlington, attended Sam Houston High School, and has worked for the City of Arlington since 2008. "I learned early on that if you have the ability and time to help someone, you should. So when I heard about this project, it seemed like a perfect fit for what I love to do."

Dalton worked from 8 a.m. to around 4 p.m. each day, only breaking to refuel on boxed lunches. Sleeping quarters were in a nearby school, on foam-like beds and no plumbing canceled out showers.

But Dalton, who helped build two homes in Guatemala, says luxury wasn't the idea. "Afterwards we were so exhausted we'd just eat at the school and go crash," said Dalton.

Dalton is a TCU graduate in English who began her City stint as a customer service assistant while working on a master's in library science. She became a programming specialist in 2010 presiding over outreach projects such as workplace literacy; she prefers to toil about in the trenches, too, teaching ESL classes at Arlington Memorial Hospital.

Recently promoted, her current position is so fresh and new she's still in the flushing out phase of a job that's primarily based at the Northeast Branch Library.

Hardly surprised by how Dalton spent Spring Break week was Arlington Library Services Manager Marc Marchand.

"Glory is dedicated to service," Marchand said. "It's certainly no surprise that she would go wherever she needed to be to lend a helping hand. I am very proud of her and of the work she does serving in our community as well as communities abroad."

Dalton wonders if she got more out of it than the families who received new dwellings.

"A lady we built the house for said there as no way she could ever repay us, but that she knew that God would repay us," Dalton said. "This gratitude comes from the fact that you did something for someone that they could not do for themselves. And it just took three or four days of my time to change someone's world."

And her own.

By Kenneth Perkins

Librarian Changes

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