How do we turn our kids into readers?
At the library we love to provide all kinds of fun experiences for young children and while many of these programs are simply fun (for the sake of fun), our favorite library programs are also built around a "play with a purpose" mentality. Librarians structure programs to build social/emotional skills, cognitive development and physical ability.
One of the things I frequently hear when I tell parents about storytime at the library is: (a) that their child won't sit still and listen to stories, or (b) that their child just isn't ready for storytime yet. It breaks my heart a little each time I hear it because all I can think about is how much of a missed opportunity this is for these families. In my mind, these statements signal a parent's lack of understanding about what storytime is really about, and why their worries are less important than they might think.
This past Fourth of July holiday, Kitsap Regional Library staff took the day off to celebrate our nation’s independence with their families. I enjoyed my day by sleeping in, reading until late afternoon, shopping for food and party supplies with my wife and eating too much good food while watching our neighbor’s impressive fireworks displays.
My dad was an amazing person. He was a school custodian, and he loved kids - he especially loved my sister and I. Did I every tell you about the time I gave him a rock for Father's Day? I was really young and didn't have any money. At the time, I remember I was collecting rocks, and one of my most recent acquisitions was a small piece of petrified wood. It was so cool, and I remember my dad explaining to me how the rock I held in my hand had been a tree long before my great, great...great grandfather had been born.
Dogs have been on my mind a lot lately. My wife says I've never met a dog I didn't fall in love with, and visiting any type of dog shelter for me is a bit like asking a two year old not to touch a dish of marshmallows placed in front of them - it's not a question of if I will pick up the marshmallow (or dog, in this case), but when. In other words, when it comes to puppies, I have the impulse control of a toddler. I admit it, I love dogs, and can count on one hand the number of years in my life that I haven't had one (or two, or three). In my opinion, dogs just make life better!
One of the hallmarks of those who work at libraries is a more than healthy amount of professional level naval gazing. That may sound a bit odd, but what I mean to say is, in our journals, conversations, podcasts, conferences, and in a variety of other forums…we spend a lot of time talking and thinking about the future of libraries. Will libraries still be around 50 years from now? If they are around, will they still look like they do today? Will my job exist?
It has begun - the holiday season, and everything that goes along with it. Of course, retail establishments all started back in October, but for people like me - I'm just realizing that yes, my holiday deadlines are just around the corner. I need to find gifts for people, and fast! I'm not worried though - I have secret librarian tricks up my sleeve. Sometimes, I like to tell people I have a very particular set of skills...
One of the common complaints I hear from patrons is, "I thought libraries were supposed to be quiet!"
Usually, the person saying it is speaking at a volume at which everyone within a fifteen yard radius can hear the pronouncement. I never quite know how to respond to this one...is that a question, or an accusation? The unstated question being, "why aren't you [Mr. Librarian] doing anything about all this noise!?"
A dilettante is someone who dabbles in a given field. They are non-experts, they are amateurs, and they will not usually receive a paycheck for their interests or their work. Nevertheless the dilettante is drawn to explore and learn what they can about a given subject through study, practice, and experimentation. Perhaps you are a dilettante woodworker (whose chairs are never perfectly straight), or a dilettante gardener (who has killed a cacti or two). Maybe you like to sculpt with clay, but your sculptures would never earn a spot in a museum.