Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Things a librarian should know...

I grew up as a library user and have always loved them. I am a constant user of libraries, albeit not always a good one. (The libraries do eventually get their books back, I promise.) I've always used it for my own recreational reading and often for research. I love libraries so much I became a librarian, including spend 5 years as a children's librarian. I even remember listing the value people get from being able to read more books than they could possibly own as one of the primary services libraries provide to their communities in a recent survey.

Yet, it was somehow a surprise to me a two weeks ago when my daughter's interest in reading was renewed with a library visit. You see, I have always given the standard answer about children needing a wide variety of books. I've always known that. But when I got pregnant with my first child, you can guess what people gave as a shower gift to a known book lover. We got soooo many books and those books have been loved. Both my husband and I were amazed when, at about 16 months, my daughter seemingly became a voracious reader overnight. We had read to her before, but suddenly she began walking over with a book, sitting on our laps and asking for book after book until 30 minutes or more had passed. Then, at about 18 months, it stopped as quickly as it had begun and she just stopped bringing them. We even asked her about reading, but she kept choosing other things.

I mentioned my disappointment with this transition to my husband. He reasonably suggested that we visit our local library, the Winona Public Library, and so we visited that following Saturday and picked up 5-6 books. She found one of those books she really liked, then another. We read those for a couple of days, then she then returned to her book shelf, and it's like she never left. She has become a reader again.

Of course she needs variety, even beyond the 50 or so books she has. I should know this. She has read From Head to Toe so much, you don't even need to read a word before she begins doing the action suggested on the page.

It looks like I will have company on my regular library visits.


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