Kiddosphere: Library Love – Books for National Library Week
To celebrate National Library Week, I’m sharing my favorite books about libraries and librarians.
So, every Christmas/Hanukkah we have a “wish tree” on which we place cards highlighting books that patrons can donate to the library. Bob the Alien Discovers the Dewey Decimal System was a book mentioned on a library blog; the blogger wrote that she uses it all the time with school/Scout/etc groups that visit the library. However, it was quite pricey – more than what we normally spend for a picture book ($25!), so I added it to the tree and hoped that a kind patron would donate it. Much to my delight, someone did, and I can’t wait to share it. Although it’s not something that a child might pick up on his/her own, (a girl guides an alien through the Dewey Decimal System (DDC)), it really explains the DDC in a way that children can grasp (and the alien aspect grabs their attention).
Book Uncle and Me is an inspiring look at the impact a small lending library has on a young girl and her community; when the mayor tries to shut it down, the children organize to save it. If you’re looking for a book set in a non-United States setting that is realistic but not too overpowering for young readers, try this one.
Even the most experienced story time presenter knows that story time can quickly get out of hand if something unexpected happens (even the smallest thing, like another child crying). Luckily, I’ve never had chickens overtake my story time, but if I do, I hope I can handle it with as much creativity and finesse as the librarian in Chicken Story Time.
Dinosaur loves going to the library, especially story time, even if he doesn’t present the very best behavior when he is there! Luckily, the story time librarian knows how to handle his roaring in a way that makes him feel welcomed, but helps him understand the value of softer roars. Dinosaur vs. the Library continues Bob Shea’s popular dinosaur series that helps teach children the ins and outs of potty training, going to bed and more.
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) is one of the most fascinating yet seemingly forgotten aspects of the Great Depression; one of the most popular programs was the Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky, which employed women (many were the sole breadwinner in their family) to travel the sometimes hard terrain of Kentucky to bring children’s books, recreational reading, and books on current events, religion, biographies,magazines, recipes, and informational pamphlets (some of the most popular books were recipe/home economics scrapbooks that patrons and librarians created and contributed to), as well as literacy classes. Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky is a beautiful tribute to the women who walked and rode through punishing natural conditions to bring literacy and recreation to one of the most hard-hit areas during the Depression, and how they managed to overcome communities’ suspicions of “outsiders” and “do-gooders.” That Book Woman is a sweet picture book fictional story about a young boy’s interactions with a pack horse librarian. While The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish isn’t about the pack horse librarians, it does feature a similar program that brought home economics education to isolated areas during the Depression.
I hope Angela Johnson continues her adorable Lottie Paris picture book series; Lottie Paris and the Best Place is naturally, my favorite of the two we have so far! Lottie Paris’s favorite place is the library; one day, she makes a new friend who also loves books, which makes it even cooler.
Happy National Library Week!
For program highlights and staff suggestions for children and young adult readers, make Kiddosphere your source for all the latest on what to read and what to do for kids!
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library