Tuesday, 19 June, 2018


Who Am I Missing? @Your Library

Tracy Kampa, Children’s Library


School’s almost out for the summer. One wouldn’t even have to own a calendar to realize that, the buzz of energy is palpable.  There are several school groups that visit me each month; we talk a little library science, we read some books, and then they get to choose whatever they’d like to check out. I only see them, at the most, 9 times during the school year, but I learn a lot about them during that short period. It’s the thought of these kids that fuel a sense of desperation in me this time of year.


One of my 4th grade classes just walked out the door for the last time. My last visit with them is always filled with information about our Summer Reading Program, and all the fun they could have at the library this summer, but I also give them the facts: if they don’t read over the summer, they will return to school in the fall knowing less than they do now. Often referred to as “Summer Slide,” it is a preventable phenomenon. Kids need to read over the summer to retain their knowledge; if they don’t, they are behind, already, when they walk through the school doors in the fall. The best news, however, is this: it doesn’t matter, at all, what kids read.  They can revisit all the books of their youth, they can read graphic novels or comic books, they can explore whatever interests them. The retention lies in the act of reading, not in the content of the material.  So please, help the children in your life find something good to read. We’ll all benefit from a smarter society in the end, and the children will benefit greatly from a summer filled with epic journeys,  funny stories, and engaging facts.


 Our summer reading program began May 19, so you can pick up your book logs and start the fun now! If you’re  grandparent, even if your grandchild lives far away, you can pick up a book log for them and do the program with them, remotely. Maybe you want to set up a phone call with them once a week to talk about what they’ve been reading? Maybe you want to read to them over Skype or Face Time? Maybe you both want to read the same book and talk about it? If they visit over the summer, they can pick their own prize book upon completion, or you can choose for them.  Come in and pick up a book log, and we can answer your questions.


In preparation for Summer Reading, I’ve spent the last couple of months trying to plug holes in our children’s collection. I believe that children deserve to see their lives reflected in a book, and to have their worldview expanded by books. My task is to try to find materials that will excite, entice, and enthrall each of my readers. I am mindful that my patrons span every reading and interest level from birth to the early teen years, and that they have wildly divergent requirements for their books. With the budget numbers ever swirling in my head, I try to find books for each of my patrons.  The question that keeps me up at night, though, is this: Who Am I Missing?  (I know, “whom” might be grammatically correct, but, honestly, that’s not what I ask myself.)  Do I have truck books for toddlers? Is my tween fiction broad enough? Are there series I have missed? Do we have anything about mourning doves? (We do now!) How about non-traditional families?  Who am I missing? Where is the book that will entice this child to read?


Please, if there is something that you or your child would like to read, let us know. We’ll find it for you somewhere. I rely on our young patrons to help me develop our collection, because they need to find themselves on our shelves. And then, hopefully, their books will take them beyond the shelves and into all sorts of new adventures, new ideas, and new views. Because that is what summer is for. Happy Reading!


This Week at your Library:


Thursday, May 31, at 6:00 join us for Dorothy Molter: The Root Beer Lady! Co-author of “Dorothy Molter: The Root Beer Lady,” Sarah Guy-Levar, director of the Dorothy Molter Museum, uses photos, documents and oral histories to illustrate how a girl from Chicago became known as the legendary Root Beer Lady. Learn about Dorothy, the last non-indigenous resident of the BWCA.


Saturday, June 2, at 10:15 and 11:15 it’s Saturday Story Time! Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for story time fun, then move to the Community room for a snack and a craft! Families may earn one Baby Steps coupon for attending.