Tuesday, April 2, 2019
I always wonder what people are reading. When I ask, I hold my breath and hope they answer with a title and not "I don't have time to read," or something similar. I must admit of late the thing I read most are quilting tutorials. I strive to improve through the guidance of others! Regardless of what it is, I am always happy to hear a positive response.
Presently, I am somewhat disheartened about the lack of interest in books in general. A public library in our neighboring town is weeding huge amounts of books due to an upcoming renovation and shelf removal. In a roundabout way, they offered me the books. I was ecstatic! These books are beautiful, library bound, and current. Who wouldn't want these? Many actually. I brought them to my school to give away to teachers and staff. Only a few took a few books. Then I offered them to my neighbors. A couple of people happily took them. Most told me either they don't have room for them or they don't read. I'm offering a whole box of beautiful books FREE, and yet...I truly was amazed at the lack of interest. One woman's treasure is another's trash I suppose.
As much as I would love to think that books and reading are vitally important to everyone, I know they are not. As a librarian, my quest is to change that. Read. Read newspapers (online or print!). Read dictionaries. Read cookbooks. Read biographies. Read comic books. Read anything! Just read. And if you need a real book-a library-bound real book, come see me. I promise you will not walk away empty handed.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
H IS FOR HAIKU
If you are a Haiku lover like me, you will certainly enjoy H IS FOR HAIKU. Although this collection was just published by Penny Candy books in 2018, the poems were written many years before by poet Sydell Rosenberg long famous for her haiku. Gathered by Sydell's daughter Amy Losak one for each letter of the alphabet, the poems fit beautifully with the art of illustrator Sawsan Chalabi. The colors of each page and style of art leads the older readers to a time of their childhood and introduces the younger reader to this beautiful art form. The first poem many children attempt is in the haiku format. Children seem to easily understand its 3 lines of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.
Teachers will also fall for this book because it is so easy to share, the ABC format, and the power packed in its few pages. Teaching haiku has never been easier!
This page is one of my favorites! As both a book and library lover, this haiku spoke to me. The subject and the artwork make me smile.
We have it here in our Lobit Library. I know it will be a popular one with both our teachers and students. I think I will go share this now and have my students write haiku. Check out H IS FOR HAIKU!
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Lobit Library just gained The Rough Patch by Brian Lies into its collection. This tender book is about love and loss between the main character Evan and his dog. The lush illustrations make every turn of the page a joyful event until the stark loss. Shadows and colors evoke sadness. I as the reader could feel the pain "and nothing was the same."
This sweet book is perfect for anyone suffering due to a lost loved one or pet. The reader can observe safely the grieving journey as Evan heals and is finally able to experience simple joys again. The Rough Patch is the perfect opportunity to discuss with children the inevitable.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
An Ode to the Fresh Cut
We just added this book to the Lobit collection. It is a masterpiece! Author Derrick Barnes transforms the everyday happening of getting a haircut into a life-altering event. He relays how that perfect cut makes a boy feel and elevates him to that place where nothing can stop him from achieving his greatest goals. He describes each flawless move the barber makes and how his precision "frames your swagger."
The illustrations are outstanding! Flipping the pictures crafted by Gordon C. James is a gallery walk. The brush strokes of the painted pages tempt you to tear out a leaf and frame it for you walls.
We will celebrate this book with barbers from Dapper Dan's coming in at the end of September to demonstrate a couple of the styles mentioned in the book. We are sure at the end of this book event, each student will leave feeling "magnificent. Flawless. Like royalty."
Monday, September 10, 2018
Each year I've been a librarian, I had authors visit my school. It is not an easy event. Paperwork is detailed. Checks must be processed. There are schedules juggled and made. Promotion around the school and to the students is a time consuming, exhausting endeavor. I have extreme jitters on the day the author arrives. Does the author have what he or she needs? Will the microphone work perfectly? Will the students behave appropriately? Have I prepared them well enough for proper questions? It is quite the task. Why do we librarians take on such an ordeal? Do author visits even matter?
Why have author visits?
There is something magical about a student meeting and getting the autograph of the author that wrote one of his or her favorite books. Even now as an adult, I am still awestruck when I meet one of my favorite children's authors. They are real people just like me! Students get to see that and realize that they too can be an author. Hearing the authors speak of being children and not loving writing and editing in school always amazes the audience. Their eyebrows knowingly go up while they nod their heads. They know then that even authors dislike that portion of their writing, and yet they do it. In this way, author visits not only encourage reading but writing!
After a visit, students are so excited to come in and check out that author's books! They've written to authors after a visit because now they know the authors are accessible. They prize that signed book they purchased! Students speak about the visits long after the author has gone.
Here at Lobit, we have three author visits already scheduled for our campus. I think there will be one more as well. Remember, our goal here in the library to match students with that book that turns them into a lifelong reader! Pairing them with an author they can relate to is a step in that direction. Although having these visits can be overwhelming and difficult, there is nothing like it! I can't imagine not having authors. Here's to authors and all the joy they bring us!
Friday, August 31, 2018
This morning, another librarian and I were discussing a current "chapter" book to decide if we thought it was appropriate for our elementary school libraries. The mature content did not match its low reading level. She said over the past few years, she had noticed a trend of higher content but lower reading levels. She asked me what did I think that was saying about our society.
I have been thinking about this all afternoon. What does it say? Is there cause for concern? Are our children maturing sooner or reading later? Are publishers deeming books appropriate for a certain age before they are ready or should be ready?
As a librarian, this does have implications. Librarians have several methods to critique each book. I use them. However, after our discussion today, I am determined to research even more. I will be even more diligent to make certain the books I have in my library are the best, most appropriate literature available for the children I serve. More than ever before, awards and accolades cannot be the lone deciding factors. I cannot solely trust a catalog blurb and the assignment of a reading level to make my choices. I never did.
I am not a censor. I love the written word! I love books! I love the freedom of thought and mind that flows between those bound pages. It's why I became a librarian. I will send that book to a higher-level library where it can be appreciated. For here, I will enrich with another.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
That Breakthrough Book
It was in third grade when I discovered Nancy Drew. I decided to give reading one more chance with a book I had gotten from my school library. Although I was a skilled reader, I really did not enjoy the act of reading until I opened the cover of The Secret of the Old Clock- the first book of the Nancy Drew series. My life changed in that moment. I had found my book, my series, a character I loved and admired. I became obsessed with the series and then mysteries in general and then just books.
Books, books, and more books filled my life and became my greatest enjoyment, friends almost. The characters are real to me. The settings are places to which I literarily go. Their adventures are my adventures, and their risks are mine safely taken.
We want Lobit Library to be the place that offers THAT book to your child. Our mission is to help every student find his or her breakthrough book. What was your breakthrough book? Please share! I would love to do a lesson on this with your children. Please let us know what book turned you into the reader you are today!