Simply reading…

August 2nd, 2010

“Thank you for letting us use the library…I had a fun time because I love reading…Your books are cool…I read some books that I have never read…I learned some new words…I love going to the library…I love reading…My favorite book was Let’s Do Nothing. I also liked Freckle Juice. My favorite author is Judy Blume. I got Wizard of Oz and Planet Earth. It was a fun time…We had a good time at the library…When I go to IU East I will go to the library every day.”

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The content of thank you notes from young students reinforced what library staff intuitively know – reading is good. For two weeks in July the IU East Campus library was a daily meeting place for Third Grade Academy students to spend time reading.  Reading, reading – for the simple pleasure of simply reading.

trenton thank you letter

The goal of Third Grade Academy is to enhance the reading skills of students in the Richmond Community Schools. It was initiated by local business and school leaders. And it makes perfect sense for libraries of all types to be proactive partners in this worthwhile and effective program.  The IU East Library connected with this program last summer and increased our participation this summer by inviting students to spend 30 minutes daily in the library, reading books they selected for the duration of the two weeks.

The first day of their time with us the students met each staff member and asked questions ranging from what we needed to learn in school to work in a library to how much money we make (not enough!).  They were curious about how long we each had worked in the library and what we like best about our jobs. They also asked each of us what we like to read. So I’ll share our current book picks…

Reference coordinator Matt Dilworth is re-reading the “Fables” series of comic books by Bill Willingham. It’s a series chronicling the lives of fairy tale characters who have escaped a mysterious, conquering adversary who’s taken over their lands, taking refuge in New York in the ‘mundane’ world. King Cole is the mayor of their eclectic ‘Fabletown,’ and the Big Bad Wolf is the sheriff, among other familiar faces.

So Cold the River by Michael Koryta is the choice of electronic resources librarian Sue McFadden. It is about the French Lick and West Baden hotels and the springs that made the area a famous spa resort.  The book brought back Sue’s memorable visit to the West Baden Hotel as a 10 year old Girl Scout — and getting fancy cookies and lemonade.

Lora Baldwin, Associate Librarian, is reading Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls.  See Amazon’s video about it: http://www.amazon.com/Half-Broke-Horses-True-Life-Novel/dp/1416586288 in which the author describes how she came to write the book and “capturing Lilly’s voice”

Interlibrary loan specialist Marcia Sloan enjoys books by Don Coldsmith.  She is reading Man of the Shadow and has his Runestone next on her reading list.

My reading recently has been sampling lots of free chapters loaded on a Kindle.  They are a variety of book excerpts, including NPR’s This I believe, Edward Lear’s Book of Nonsense, Telling ain’t training, Frank Baum’s Ozma of Oz, and Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim and Kabbala.

I wrote in a previous blog about the pleasures of leisurely summer reading….but with summer escaping from us so quickly, it might be time to start speed reading!