Want to gather your community for stories, art, and food? Looking for a way to make family literacy a part of daily life? We are trying to do just that with a series we are calling Big Ideas.
Spending a month looking at old books, in a library that could be part of a Harry Potter movie set: priceless. Appreciating the book as an object is easy to do when said books are such items of beauty that they demand you stop, hold them delicately, and breathe in their history.
If you love old books, there’s a good reason to visit the University of Florida. At the George A. Smathers Library you’ll find the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature. With over 100,000 items, including approximately 3500 published in North America and Great Britain before 1823, this a truly a treasure trove of children’s books. And the best part? Anyone can visit and examine these books. By the way you’ll, feel like you are in a Harry Potter book when you enter the Grand Reading Room.
During the school March Break, our libraries always offer a wide range of programs. One of my favourite this year was Literacy Break.
A little over five years ago, I started making a felt board version of Little Red Riding Hood. I headed to the Internet to find a couple of different versions, so I could decide which figures I would use and how I would tell the story. I found this Italian version, and was completely sidetracked. That felt story is still unfinished. But my fascination with this old tale was renewed, and I started dreaming about doing an in-depth study of Little Red.
Weeding. Just like in the garden, it has to be done regularly, or the job gets out of hand. The good plants have no room to shine when the weeds are choking them out and taking up the shelves.
Sometimes, working in small rural libraries is difficult. Single-staffed branches have limited time for youth programming. There’s no room for large comfy chairs or crawl-through shelving. And yet, children swarm the place, coming in every day after school, for weekly storytime, or to play Minecraft on the public computers. When I visit large, urban libraries, and see amazing children’s rooms, I swoon at all that space, all those bright colours and beautiful furniture.
Today is bound to be a hectic, anxious day for many. Since November is Picture Book Month, let’s take a look at this 32-page miracle that may help ease the tension of this day.