Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Celebrate Library Lovers Day!

February 14 is coming soon, commonly celebrated as Valentine's Day but did you know it's also Library Lovers Day?

Library Lovers Day - what a wonderful day to show our local and school librarians some love! Let's thank them for what they do, be specific and tell them how much libraries and librarians have meant in our lives.

To celebrate, why not borrow some videos from your local library and have a movie night, complete with popcorn and drinks?
Kids could borrow the maximum number of children's books and try to share them all with siblings or friends before bedtime tomorrow.
Kids could write down three things they want to find out more about and take the list to their school or local library.

Libraries have been a lighthouse in my life. When I was a child, growing up in a small town, I read the whole library.  The elderly town librarian, her hair pulled up in tidy bun, hand stamped the cards and wrote our names out with pen.  I remember the glorious fusty, musty smell of hundreds and hundreds of books, all for ME!  Because I was such a good "customer" she  would let us use the stamper and write our own names on the cards.  Boy, we had arrived!!!

I learnt  the love of reading from a librarian. I learnt that books can open worlds and dreams are found on pages. And that learning and dreaming were freely available in a library. 

When I became a primary teacher, I met school teacher-librarians. To me, they were the glue that held the school together. The librarian had an overview of all the educational programs in the school, so she could transmit the big picture. She also knew the title of the book that John Smith had borrowed last week, and could suggest new reading delights to him. Small picture stuff was her forte too, which was so important for the John's of our world. When John needed a safe haven from the playground, he knew he could set up a chessboard or have a chat to his friend the librarian, me. 

A school library is the heart of a school, just the way a local library is the heart and hub of a neighbourhood. We don't need technicians to care for that heart, we need properly trained specialists: teacher-librarians. They have the expertise to teach information skills, and to tie that to every subject and grade. They have a passion for children's literature which they transmit to generations of kids. Above all, they have the desire and commitment to teach kids to love reading. When kids really love to read, that spills over to become a love of learning.

Celebrate this great day and pass on the word!   Read on and read always.
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