K.L. Kranes and I are in the same book club, which is now three years old. I like to think of myself as a reader, and someone who loves learning. I have been in a several different book clubs in total for almost twenty years, and have read many books that I would never have chosen on my own and I thank my fellow book clubbers for that! My love of reading led me to volunteer in the school library where my kids attended elementary school, and now I’m a substitute librarian at various public schools in our school district. K.L. asked me to write a guest blog entry and I am delighted to share my thoughts and experiences on books, reading, libraries and magic!
The magic of books in the library
I started substitute teaching in elementary school libraries this school year, after many years of volunteering in the library. My absolute favorite part is reading the books to the classes that come in, ranging from kindergarten to sixth grade. It’s my job to show them the magic hidden inside each book. I take it seriously! Reading a book to kids feels like performing in a play: you are putting on an act for your audience each time you open a book. Silly voices, sounds, word bubbles, shouts and whispers—all of this happens in between each book cover. It’s great fun for me, and when you are reading to a younger audience, they are enthralled by the book, the pictures, the performance. My very youngest audiences even clap when I finish. Rewarding. And cute. It’s magic!
One of the many great things about libraries (and librarians!) is their role in introducing kids to books they might not otherwise see or hear or read. Many families have books at home, but not all. Almost every time I sit down with a class, I introduce myself and tell them how glad I am that they have come into the library today, that I love the library, and that I hope they will love reading and libraries too. Why not? Sharing that magical feeling with kids when you love something introduces them to the idea of it. Every gasp or giggle or wide-eyed expression is music to my ears every time I sit down in front of a group of kids and share a little piece of the magic I feel when I open a book!
“School—four walls with tomorrow inside.”– Terri Orvis, Elementary School Librarian
Terri Orvis, a librarian at an elementary school near me, has written in her email signature: “School—four walls with tomorrow inside.” I love this sentiment. And while I have no idea if the kids I read to in the libraries where I’m a substitute will grow to love the library, if I will change their minds or if they will feel some of the magic—in fact a few of them already tell me they don’t like to check out books from the library—but I will continue to share my love of reading, and teach them about the magic of books and the library whenever I can, so hopefully those kids will still love reading books tomorrow.
For more information on how you can support your local school or public libraries and amazing librarians like Lisa and Terri, see these links below.