Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Librarian Love

Since 1958, the American Library Association (ALA) has celebrated National Library Week, usually the second the full week of April.  This year also  marks the 25th anniversary of School Library Month. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote the use and support of libraries in our communities.  Research shows that the highest achieving students attend schools with well-staffed and well-funded school libraries. 

With the increase in digital resources and decrease of public funding, public and school libraries are feeling the pinch more than ever.  Yet they continue to offer more resources than just books to their patrons...for the bargin price of... FREE!!!!  Where else can you borrow the lastest Newbery or Caldecott winner, audio books,  DVD's and CD's, access the internet, or attend a program you find interesting?  And let's not forget the library's most valuable resources...the librarians!  I can tell you that without my school librarian, Mrs. Pierson, and my public Children's Librarian, Deanna Gouzie, I would be lost!  They pull titles for me on a moment's notice, feed me great new titles, and most important to me, act as my sounding board (and often partners in crime) as I talk through crazy ideas to support literacy. I am so grateful for the knowledge they share with me!

Jacket Description (from library copy):  "That Book Woman is a rare and moving tale that honors a special part of American history ---the Pack Horse Librarians, who helped untold numbers of children see the stories amid the chicken scratch, and thus made them into lifetime readers."

This book ,by author Heather Henson, is inspired by the true and courageous work of the Pack Horse Librarians, who were known as "Book Women". The women would travel on horseback to difficult to reach rural areas in the Appalachian Mountains during the Depression loaning books to families. The Pack Horse Library Project was set up by Franklin D. Roosevelt's Work Projects in the 1930's.

Jacket Description (from library copy): "Everything has it's place in the library and Melvin likes it that way.  His favorite people --Marge, Betty, and Leeola -- are always in their places behind the reference desk.  When something interests Melvin, the librarians help him find the very best information on the subject.  Then way day he goes off to college to learn new things and read new books.  Will he leave the library and his friends behind forever?

Written by children's librarian Carla Morris, The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians is a delightful picturebook that celebrates the influence librarians can have in creating lifelong readers.    Melvin  grows up with three librarians as some of his most cherished friends - not only do they help him find information, but when he needs it the most, they help him find his motivation and achieve as much as he can.  My fourth graders loved this book!

From Amazon.com:  "If ever there were a perfect picture book for those so-called "reluctant readers" this is it. Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don't) tells the story of Missy, a little girl who rejects just about every story that comes her way. She complains that "They're too kissy. Too pink. And too silly." The tireless librarian Miss Brooks is not about to give up, nor is Missy's mom. When Missy realizes she'd like to read about warts, Mom comes through with an inspired choice that sets this picky reader on the path to book bliss."  --Lauren Nemroff

This title is a new addition to my classroom library...and was a HUGE hit!!!  The lengths Miss Brooks goes to in order to help Missy become a lifelong reader will resonate with  librarians and teachers who work with the 'Missy's' of the world everyday!  My students did not know who William Steig was...or that Shrek! was actually a picture book before there was a movie!  Needless to say, the next day my display shelf was filled with titles by Steig and Shrek! was our class read aloud. 

So, if it's been awhile since you have visited your local library...this the perfect week to stop in. Check out these great children's book titles...and don't forget to show your librarian some love!