Just like the character in the picture book - Goin’ Someplace Special I also view the library as a special place. From the moment I walk through the doors I feel the magic. I’m not sure why this happens. It could be the hushed tones of conversation, the muted clacking of the computer keys, the display of the new books, or maybe it’s the energy from the focused intensity of the people seated throughout the library. Or maybe it’s the squeals, smiles, and giggles you encounter when you step into the buzz of activity in the Children’s Section. I have yet to visit story-time at any library that didn’t bring a smile to my face. I lose all track of time whenever I visit any library (my hubby will tell you that bookstores have a similar effect).
I always appreciate our libraries even more during this time of year. How many of you take for granted our right to read whatever we choose to read? I know its something I don’t think about until Banned Book Week shows up on my radar at the end of September. When our attention is focused on censorship I’m truly thankful for all the wonderful people that continue to fight for our freedom to read. Our librarians, teachers, publishers, journalists, booksellers, and readers from all over speak out ensuring that all books remain available. According to the American Library Assoc. (ALA), authors of color, as well as books with diverse content, are disproportionately challenged and banned.
Unfortunately, struggle isn’t a new concept for many of us. I’m reminded of the wonderful picture books that tell the stories of a time when books and the library were off-limits to many, such as Richard Wright and the Library Card and More Than Anything Else. Goin’ Someplace Special and Storyteller’s Candle are picture books that highlight the message that the library belongs to everyone. And Lola at the Library is a great picture book to remind us to schedule regular visits to the library in order to build the love and habit for reading with our young children.
What’s In Your Wallet?
Hopefully in your wallet is the card that gives you access to information and a world of possibilities. No, I’m not talking about your Capital One card. It’s your library card. There is no fee, no interest, and no monthly payments. It is free! It is also much more valuable than any credit card (but that’s just my opinion).
This valuable card gives you free access to all the library has to offer. Library collections include books and resources that represent the diversity of people, cultures, languages, religions, and the faraway places that make up the world in which we live. Today’s libraries include digital as well as print resources. Video games, music, movies, audiobooks, eBooks, and even toys for early childhood play are some of the resources offered. Many libraries have programs offering homework assistance and even a place for teens to hang out. Some libraries in the MD, VA, and DC area are offering a wonderful service called Beanstack. You receive book and app recommendations matched to your child’s profile (age and interests) delivered weekly to your inbox. Check at your local library to see if this free amazing service is available!
Now ask yourself – “Am I taking advantage of the benefits offered by this treasure in my community?”
Build The Habit
Make a promise (and keep your promise) to schedule regular visits to your local library with your child/children. You’ll be glad you did!
READ A BANNED BOOK
See you next Wednesday!