Friday, June 25, 2010

Libraries a luxury?

The bookmobile pulled up next to the school. Each class would line up one by one by the door waiting for the kids in front of them to move on down and out of the exit. I remember stepping into the bus looking at all of the books that lined the shelves. For a small child, it was amazing. A library on wheels. A librarian on wheels!

School budgets need to be cut. The school libraries are on the chopping block considered to be a luxury. Luxury? I had to hop a bus to check out books! Books a luxury. Hm. I know that back in the olden days books were protected and cherished. Now we are not only stripping the libraries out of the schools but are putting the words on a screen we can take anywhere. Books. Libraries. Have we forgotten?

My grandchildren love to go to the school library. They check out books routinely, excited for the next stack they can bring home. The library holds a yearly book sale drawing parents and children to the school to refresh their coffers. Flop and read nights at the school are memory making with kids in pj's and parents reading on the floor next to them. Many of the kids get their books from the school library.

My books are my passion as is my writing. If I ever write a book, I want it to reside on the library shelves as well as those at home. I want someone to turn the pages one by one waiting for the story to unravel. I have books from my childhood even some purchased from Weekly Reader. I don't want my books to be displayed behind a screen. I want to savor the paper between my fingers.

So many children do not have parents who take them to the library. Let's face it, not every parent cares to expose their children to books. So what happens to these little ones? Where do the books go to retire?

I guess I feel better venting my frustrations. When you must stand in line to get to the books, hoping a good one will still be on the shelf, you understand how important that paper and binding is to the child. Maybe I'm just an antique like the old bookmobile bus.

Well, I'll continue to turn pages, take my grandchildren to the library and bookstores and do what I can to keep books in the hands of all children.

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