Let's Celebrate Library Lovers Day!
by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
February 14 is coming soon, commonly celebrated as Valentine's Day. But did you know it's also Library Lovers Day and International Book Giving Day? (It was Library Lovers Day in 2012, and I hereby proclaim the Day as continuing!)
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, our local library was in the School of Arts building. I remember dust motes dancing on a slant of sun that struggled through high, grimy windows. I remember the glorious fusty, musty smell of hundreds and hundreds of books, all for ME!
I learnt love of reading from a librarian. I learnt that books can open worlds and dreams are found on pages. Without being consciously aware of it at age five, I also learnt that Australia was a lucky country where learning, though free, was valued highly by its people. 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 Kenny Jinks 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 Kennys of our world. When Kenny needed a safe haven from the playground, he knew he could set up a chessboard or have a chat to his friend, Ms Liberry.
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.
(February 14 is also International Book Giving Day, a day dedicated to getting new, used, or borrowed books into the hands of as many kids as possible. Read about it in my earlier post, Coming Soon, International Book Giving Day. I hope you enjoy giving books on the 14th as much as I plan to!)
Libraries and books make a difference in kids' and adults' lives. Thank a librarian and give a book on February 14!