Sunday, March 04, 2007

In 7th grade way back in the day, I got a chance to hear Richard Peck read from his latest book at the Fretz Park Library and even got to interview him. In my eyes, it was like interviewing a celebrity on the red carpet at the Oscars. I was a painfully shy student and avid reader who did not have access to a school or public library until 5th grade. I was selected to work in the library during 6th grade and Ms. Lake(later remarried as Ms. Pickle)(what a great name for a librarian) certainly made me figure out the Dewey Decimal System pretty quickly. She also let me write for the school newspaper and check out as many books as I could walk out the door with. I continued working in the library at 100 Hundred Farmer Junior High and became transfixed by Ray Bradbury's books. The librarians there were task masters also but would sit down with me and we would have our own little reading club circle. They gave me avenues to explore and listened to my opinions. That access to books and people kept me from going crazy. I have of late considered getting my librarian certification. When we go to the downtown library, I spend most of my time on the second floor among the kids books. I love to discover new authors and revisit old friends. I sometimes fight with my daughter over who will get to read which book first. I wish that all of my students felt this way about books. Our librarian was grumping a bit about spending 'library money" to order graphic cartoon books; there has been such a demand for them from the kids in the cartoon club. How silly to think it a misguided purchase. Tempt them through the doors. Make them walk the aisles. Maybe they'll pick up another book to go along with Spiderman. It's a start. They're reading for crying out loud. Give them a chance to pick out a book just because the book jacket looks cool. Just like letting that girl who never spoke to anyone work in the library. Who knows what would happen. Thank you ladies of the library and Mr. Peck. Your books opened the world to me.

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