Here we are again, National Library Week 2010 and where has the time gone? For over 50 yeas, the American Library Association has dedicated the second full week of April as National Library Week, an opportunity to celebrate the great and unique libraries across the United States. Big whoop you say? Well, indeed it is a big whoop. Especially in the economic times that everyone is facing, libraries should not only be celebrated but supported. This year's theme is "Communities Thrive @ Your Library" and what a wonderful reminder of the role that libraries play in every community across the nation.
This could be an opportunity to begin extolling the virtues of libraries and librarians. However, for just a moment, celebrating seems to be more the order of the day. After all, there is another 6 days yet of connecting this week's celebration and the need to gain stronger support for libraries. What better way to get excited about libraries than to share books that readers of all ages can appreciate about the library. There is no shortage of books on this topic however, having said that, there are some titles that just outshines them all.
The Library by Sarah Stewart, this book is by far the best book about libraries and avid readers who can not put down a book. If Elizabeth Brown, the heroine and avid reader, does not make herself endearing when reading the whimsical rhymes, then it just may be possible, that one does not have a heart. Who could not giggle, at the silliness of cleaning the house while reading a book or reading upside down? The love of books and libraries are infused into every page and illustration that it reminds the reader of how wonderful it is to read out of pure joy.
Sometimes Rules are meant to be broken. That is the theme of the children's book Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen. Mr. McBee is not happy when a enormous lion comes to stay at the library. Miss Merriweather, the librarian who is the keeper of the rules and keys to the library, states that as long as lion obeys the rules, he may stay. Lion makes himself at home during storytime, (how I would love for that to happen at one of my storytimes!) and providing other servies around the library for patrons and librarians alike. However, the Library Lion breaks the rule when he roars at Mr. McBee to alert him to the fact that Miss Merriweather has had a terrible fall off of a stool. Lion lays low for awhile, staying clear of the library, until Mr. McBee finds him and tells him that sometimes library rules should be broken. Happy ending for all. Lion returns and all is well in the library again! (Can I please have a lion at storytime?)
Bridgett's loves her animals so much, she brings them to the library. What could go wrong in Eric A. Kimme'ls tale I Took My Frog To The Library? So the frog frightens the librarian, the hen lays an egg in the card catalog, and the hyena laughs at the all the wrong places during story time. Big deal! That's not so bad, but when elephant wrecks the library because she is just TOO big, well that was the proverbial straw that breaks the librarian's back. All animals have got to go home, but that's okay. Bridgett's elephants entertains the troop with her own story time. This is an older book, but it is a classic with it's warm pictures and humorous tales. Animal, book and library lovers will love the tale, even if the card catalog is an old fashioned one!
Each of these books are perfect for storytime for preschool up to second grade. Perhaps, a little nostalgic too but is there anything wrong with getting a little attached to a library? For many children at the library where I work, it is a second home to them. Come to think of it, it's like my second home too! The list of books is far from being done. There's more to come next time. In the meantime, celebrate National Library Week by taking someone you love to visit the library. Sit a spell, read a little and check out a book. You'll be glad you did.