Librarians "Mohawk Up" for Record Checkouts

Six members of a Vista library rose to the occasion in a challenge to get one million checkouts

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A look at Library Director Jose Aponte before and after his dramatic transformation

    A group of librarians proved that they never back down from a bet Friday by trading book checkouts for multi-colored mohawks.

    The Vista Branch of the San Diego County Library set out last year to break a new record: one million checkouts in one year.

    To gain momentum for their book-loving crusade, Library Director Jose Aponte and five other male library staffers promised to cut their hair into mohawks – publicly, of course -- if the goal was met.

    Lo and behold, the library topped one million book checkouts, to the delight of the branch and the dread of those up for quite the haircut.

    Aponte told NBC he felt some trepidation since he hasn’t been to a barber since the third grade. His wife handles all his trims.

    But the message behind the move is bigger than a temporary – albeit striking – new look.

    “The whole idea that libraries are alive and that we’re a part of it,” said Aponte. “At the end of the day, it’s a celebration, and we all think that we should celebrate more.”

    In that spirit, the director and his staff threw a party for their Vista community as they got their new coiffures Friday.

    Looking to his wife for pleading approval, Aponte had his white hair shaved on the sides and spiked up. He then opted for a patriotic theme as the hairdresser dyed the mohawk red and blue.

    His reaction upon seeing himself in a mirror? “Hey, I look a little different, but my wife is still here.”