Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sorry today's blog is so late! Things have been so crazy in Mel World lately, I almost forgot it was my turn!

I am currently in the throes of the Tennessee Summer Reading Program, which means my little branch is approaching fire code violations during story time hour and the staff goes home at the end of the day with cottage cheese in their heads instead of brains.

But no matter how harried we get, it's always fun to see the local kids morph from glassy-eyed stressed out students to book lovers reading for pleasure. It's the same every year. There's a bit of a lull after the last day of school after which they reluctantly file in behind their parents. At first they'll take home one volume, usually chosen on the basis of its low page number to reading level ratio. They next time, they'll get three or four with a shorter turnaround time. By July 4th, they're taking home stacks on a regular basis, devouring them and asking for recommendations when they run out of the things they know they like.

These kids remind me why I got into libraries in the first place: to share the love of reading with my community. This is also one of the reasons I write.

So tell me, what are some of your reasons?


Savanna Kougar said...

Oh Mel, you put it beautifully. Although, as a kid, while I read a lot in the summer, I actually read more books just for pleasure during the school year -- 'cause, I was outside running around a lot.

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Mel, it must be wonderful to introduce kids to the pleasure of reading. Have fun!

Lexie O'Neill said...

How wonderful! Both my kids did
the summer reading programs for years. We've stopped lately--my son got too old (?not possible) and my daughter got frustrated with the prizes. McDonalds Happy Meal toys are sturdier! Now, she reads for fun.
But the funny thing is, she's like you, Sav, she read more for fun during the school year. Swimming is eating up her time, the rest she just wants to play (which is great, too).
So, thank you, Mel, for the summer reading program--by the way, my kids' fave prize was a free

Mai Christy Thao said...

Hi Mel,

I'm glad you wrote this. It's important to remind the world that you have to cultivate a child's mind and get them started on reading early on in life. Many people forget how important reading is. Not only is it beneficial for the developing brain, but it is an important factor in molding a person's character.

Mel Hiers said...

That was my favorite prize, too. But back when I was participating, it was read, read, read, get a free book at the end of the summer. Here, there are special guests, hour-long storytimes, music, and all sorts of different prizes!

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

I remember being thrilled when Harry Potter became so popular because it introduced a lot of kids to the wonderful world of reading. I think you do have to get kids hooked early then they will have a life time of joy from books. My hat is off to libriarians everywhere since I wouldn't be the reader or the writer I am today without them! :)

Terry Odell said...

My kids used to finish half the books they checked out in the car on the way home from the library!