When I was a child, getting your own library card was like winning the lottery. It meant you could go to the library and choose from a smorgasbord of books. It meant an opportunity to explore other worlds, to learn about people, places and things that you might never experience if not for books.
I remember heading to my favorite sections of the library, trailing my fingers across the spines of books aligned on the shelves as I perused the titles. Often I would select a book and slide to the floor, right there in the aisle, to flip through and read a few passages before deciding if I wanted to check out that book. Sometimes I thumbed through the card catalog, looking for books that might have been shelved somewhere other than my usual sections. Visiting new sections exposed me to books I wouldn’t have thought to explore on my own. But each visit, I would check out as many books as they would allow, or as many as I could carry!
Thankfully, my parents supported my love of books. We were encouraged to check out library books at school, as well as through the public library. Good grades earned opportunities to purchase books from the Scholastic Book order forms that came home with our papers. When we moved out of state, the first place we visited after moving in was the local public library. As we got older, we were treated to trips to the bookstore. Used bookstores were my favorites, because I always came home with a stack of “new” books that didn’t cost my parents a small fortune!
My love of books has grown over the years. I have more books on my shelves and in boxes than I will probably ever read, but I can’t make myself get rid of them. I have core reading preferences but I have also learned to explore new-to-me authors and subjects.
I still prefer having a book in my hands to watching TV. I also live in a small town without a library so I haven’t checked out any library books in a very long time, but I still visit the bookstore or my local department stores every week looking for new books.
Because books are important to me, I wanted to share information on book-related celebrations happening across the nation during the month of April.
D.E.A.R.-- Drop Everything and Read -- is a national month-long celebration of reading designed to encourage people of all ages to make reading a priority in their lives. Author Beverly Cleary wrote about D.E.A.R. in her book Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Since publication of her book, "Drop Everything and Read" programs have been held nationwide in honor of Mrs. Cleary’s birthday on April 12th.
National Library Week – April 12-18, 2015
Every April since 1958, libraries across the country observe National Library Week to celebrate contributions of libraries and librarians and to promote support and use of libraries. In the mid-1950s, the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers were concerned that Americans were reading less, and they decided to do something about it. They wanted to motivate people to read, and therefore generate more interest and use of libraries. Their theme that first year was "Wake Up and Read!"
Unlimited possibilities @ your library®.
I love this theme for 2015! Libraries are filled with possibilities for people of all ages and interests! While I love the internet and easy access of books through my computer or other electronic devices, there is no experience quite like visiting the library. It has the potential to change lives, if only people are exposed to it.
How has a library influenced your life?