A few years back when I was teaching my grade five class, in an old, hot portable at the back of the school, I set my students a research assignment, I can’t even remember what on, but that doesn’t really have much to do with the story. Our classroom was yet to be hooked up to the schools computer network, which meant no Internet, the kids were up in arms “How are we going to get the info Miss!” they shouted and protested. I suggested to them that over the next week they should all try to visit the local Library……..”The what?” one of the boys screamed from the back. I sat at my chair at the front of the room, stopped the class from what they were doing and asked them to raise their hands if they had ever been to the local Library. And I swear, at this point no more than four kids out of nearly 28 raised their hands!!! The horror of it!!
I’ve always been a book lover, the smell of an old bookshop, the feel of the pages between my fingertips, the adventures yet to be had before opening that first page….. the excitement of it all! I would sit in the corner of my childhood bedroom by the window reading for hours on end. I would delve into the adventures of the characters, feel their excitement and pain, and see them in my minds eye. I used to visit the Library, especially on the school holidays and load up on new reads to keep me occupied over the next few weeks.
At this point, I made my class take their seats and I explained to them about the Library, it wasn’t just about books, they could go there and rent time on the computers to use the Internet, they could hire out magazines, movies and even games. I talked excitedly all about it and by the end, even some of the boys eyes lit up. Many of them did visit in the weeks following, even if only one or two did, my job was done.
Our local Library has just been completely knocked down and rebuilt. I take the kids there every Friday for Story Time, which is so well run (I say as a parent and a teacher). It was obviously very well though out, with the kids section down stairs, completely decked out with cute animal chairs and reading nooks for the kids. There are many rooms to sit in for quiet time and also for large groups. Beautifully gardens to sit out in the spring and summer time, and eventually there will be a cafe. Princess now has her own Library card and I can see the excitement in her face each time she borrows and returns. I hope I am fostering her love of reading and it’s awesome to see so many Mum’s and Dad’s visiting there with their own kiddies.
I hope the next time I teach a grade, all of my kids would know about the Library and would have visited it many times!
Do you visit your local Library?