Two interesting reads regarding books and libraries. First, was this NPR piece from a few days ago called, “How Scholastic Sells Literacy to Generations of New Readers.”
Some fear that with all the gadgets and gizmos, texting and twittering, that the art of just reading may be lost. Not so, as this article NPR article illustrates, about the Scholastic Writing Awards.
What I recall about Scholastic were the book order forms. This was better than the Sears Toy catalog and I believed I could get away with finding/getting almost every book in there. The excitement while trying to cut a straight line to separate the order strip from the form, the impatience of getting the parental signature let alone the stuffing of the envelope with said strip and money that didn’t need to be spent on milk for lunch time anyway…
The first book I was able to buy on my own was the Peanuts Lunch Bag Cookbook. For a first-grader, this was a big deal because now I had the ‘rules of making my own lunch!’ It was a dream. There were only two recipes in the entire collection my parents trusted me to make and take to school – peanut butter & jelly or the tuna fish sandwich. I still have that book and sometimes wonder if the recipes there would taste better than some popular/available options now.
The other article of note dealt with libraries loaning unique items. Libraries have always found ways to benefit their communities, so the idea of lending tools and other necessities to patrons doesn’t seem surprising.
Ann Arbor District Library Associate Director Celeste Choate sums it up best: “We can’t be everything to everyone, but we can provide a lot of opportunities to people to try out new things.”