Monday, September 13, 2010

Library Stories

At the beginning of the school year I often turn to books that feature a library as the setting, to welcome back young readers on their visit to Lawrence School library. Among my favorites are Brook Berg's What Happened to Marion's Book? (perhaps a bit didactic but kids never forget the episode involving raspberry jam and the washing machine), Daniel Kirk's Library Mouse (good readers can become good writers too) , and Barbara Bottner's Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I Don't). I save Michelle Knudson's Library Lion until later in the year after students are thoroughly settled in. Wonder why? Maybe I'll tell you down the line.

What's a librarian to do when society and literature are full of librarian stereotypes -- the bespectacled, controlling old maid who would rather hold on to and organize books than share them with enthusiastic readers, etc. etc. My answer has always been just to be what I am and have some fun... and choose books that don't reinforce unnecessary stereotypes. Yes, libraries need to stay organized (at least mostly) and quiet (at least moderately as there are usually various groups and individuals sharing our space). And it is important to take good care of library books because they are resources held in common for the use of a community! We want to be able to find the right book when it's needed and welcome all visitors equally. So, join us often this year in the Lawrence library space. It is chock full of good materials.