Tuesday, October 25, 2011

31 Days of Library Living {Day 26}: The Quiet Teachers

He is hooked. At eleven years of age, he is lining up what to read next and carries two (heavy) reads at a time in his backpack to avoid any delay in beginning the next work of fictional beauty. These books have become constant companions; forever fiction friends. And it didn't happen by chance. 

For the past year, the great reads he has fallen in love with have been recommended by the children's librarian at our town library. Beverly is his quiet teacher, and her temperate book endorsements have transformed our son into a prolific reader, mostly through relayed conversation with me acting as the go-between. 

This is the series she recently recommended:

Peter and The Starcatchers* started out as a fantastic read aloud, but I couldn't read it fast enough for Nick. He had to race to the next chapter just as my voice was running out of gas. After completing the first book of this sensational series he proclaimed that life is better with great books - that fictional characters allow our imaginations to soar, and he loved 'to grab the hand of the wind that picks us up and blows us all through a story world'. Be still my mama's heart.

The library has outstanding teachers - librarians - that quietly teach in an advantageous way - they follow your lead. Instead of setting the curriculum, they welcome your interests and curiosities and help you build a new bridge ~ a new road just for you. 

Beverly has helped Nick navigate the highways of reading; the cities of fiction, the states of history, the oceans of nature, the skies of fantasy, the beautiful world of classic and modern literature ~ all of this done quietly and often times indirectly, through me. She will recommend books without Nick being present because I can give her feedback on what he has enjoyed in the past. A computer can't do what she does - it lacks a librarian's soul. It takes living - and human experience through the love of reading - to come up with the borrowed beauty he holds in his hands each night.

The relationship you build with a librarian is an extraordinary, life-enriching gift. Model that friendship with your children today and they will grow up to trust librarians as a primary source of health, knowledge and relaxation. Real life superheroes, I'm telling no fibs.

What adventures have your children gone on today because of their quiet teacher? What stars will they reach for tomorrow?

* Peter and The Starcatchers is co-written by Dave Barry (yes, the famous writer of adult comedy) and Ridley Pearson. The idea for the series was originally conceived by Ridley's daughter, when she asked "how did Peter Pan meet Captain Hook?" after Ridley finished reading her bedtime story. Thank you, Paige Pearson.

This series, 31 Days of Library Living, started here. Please join me for the month, maybe even follow me forever on this blog by email or subscribe to my posts - I would be honored.

Are you a 31 Dayer? Leave me a message, I would love to come visit you. 

For a list of all of the 31 Dayers, click here.
For the amazing girl behind all of this 31 Days magic, click here.

xoxo Michele


Anonymous said...

What a lovely post! I have fond memories of carrying a big laundry basket full of books home from the library every trip when my brothers and I were growing up. So thankful for a mom who encouraged reading.
You seem to be gaining steam as the 31 days go by! That's awesome! ~Frances

Brunella Z. said...

i send a mail for you.:) All beautiful things for you and your family.

I am LOVD said...

I love the endearing phrases you have honoring our quiet teachers - librarians. We have some great ones dedicated to our city and its readers. This was a great reminder of how lucky we are if we have access to great librarians.

Amber said...


You have encouraged me so much during the last 31 days to keep pouring into my son a love of reading and to read more myself.

I look forward to the questions my son will ask his librarian and the feedback he/she will give. He is only 19 months old and I already appreciate the input I receive when we go to the library.

Jill said...

Peter and the Starcatchers has been on my to-read list for far too long (for myself and my boys). You've inspired me to pick it up very soon.
Oh, and we have a special fondness for librarians in my family as well--my father-in-law was actually a high school librarian for some time. I've gotten so many great recommendations from him. Those librarians really know their stuff!