I'm joining the Slice of Life Challenge today for the first time, as I try to add more writing into my daily life. You can find more Slice of Life posts at The Two Writing Teachers.
I always look forward to July with great anticipation. It's the month of the year that I get to live among the books. Spending my Mondays through Thursdays spreading the love of books, reading, and writing with the young and not so young, brings so much joy into my summer. Yesterday was our first day with children and I couldn't wait to see familiar faces and meet new reader/writers!
The anticipation of the first day always brings out so many thoughts and feelings. The unpacking of a complete lending library can feel so overwhelming. I wonder if I've purchased "the" book that will capture that resistant reader, finally giving them entrance into the "literacy club". I spend what sometimes feels like way too much time on which basket certain titles should be housed. I worry that I haven't expanded the series section enough to give those late initial and early transitional readers enough titles to choose from. And of course there are the graduate students, for whom this program is the main focus. Will they like me? Will they find my ideas, organization, and book choices inviting enough to support the work they will do over the coming month?
So yesterday arrived...and all my worries and doubts began to dissipate as the graduate students started to visit the Library with their young learners for the first time. There were lots of hugs from returning reader/writers. Books quickly began finding their homes in the hands of readers. Conversations were buzzing around the library that revolved around interests, favorite authors, and themes...always with choice as the guiding light in selections.
Snippets of conversations began to stick within my reading heart...
from a returning 10 yo reader..."Remember that book that kid had lost and then found on the last day last summer? You know..about the donut? I really wanted to read that one!" (I knew it...and had it...and had to create a Wait List)
from a new 10 yo reader..."Wow! Usually I'm always the last one still trying to find a book when my class visits the library but I already have three books I want to read! That's NEVER happened to me before!" (Ah...all the unpacking and exact placement of books already paid off 30 minutes into day one!)
from a new 6 yo reader..."Just so you know, I want books that will challenge me 'cause I already know a LOT about books!" (Duly noted sweetheart!)
Thirty minutes to wipe away the doubts and worries. The time spent reading books, pouring over new titles, creating an order of new books that would cover a wide range of reading abilities and interests, moving furniture, unpacking and organizing books, and creating a welcoming environment will be well worth it! Books will find their readers...and readers will find their reading lives. And I have the honor of witnessing the connections as I live among the books for four short weeks.