"It's a good thing when children enjoy books, isn't it?" Judy Blume (New York Times article, 22 October 1999)
While I enjoy my library position at the Circulation desk here at the PCC library, I have to confess that I absolutely love my library aide position at the elementary school where I work three days a week. I look forward to seeing the young faces that come in week after week to return books they've had the pleasure of reading for a week in exchange for a new book. One thing that always touches me is when students point to a book amidst the piles of returned books on my desk and say how much he liked that book. Or they wait to hand a book to me just to let me know that was his book for the week as opposed to putting it in the bookdrop. Seeing the books I put on display being picked up and looked at is a wonderful feeling. Even better is when they're actually checked out which is quite often.
One thing I have encouraged is greater use of the library at the elementary school. Before the middle school students could only check out one book at a time but I decided they should be able to check out 2 at a time since I knew at the high school level, they can check out 3 books at a time. What better way to encourage enjoyment of more books! Often times, the school staff have not realized they could check out books as well but I have done my best to let them know of the opportunity there. Now I have a few of the D/HOH (deaf/hard of hearing) aides regularly checking out books for their young children at home. In addition, I get to hear how much their kids loved the various books they borrowed for them.
More recently, most of the middle graders haven't had the pleasure of coming into the library due their teachers not taking the time to bring the class in. In a continued effort, I am soon going to be having the library open during their recess time so they can come in on their own. Even though it was something I had started to look into due to the classes not coming in, what surprised me was having the older students come up to me in the hallway asking when they'll be able to come to the library.
I have always enjoyed books since I was growing up and still do. That is what I hope to bring to these kids at this elementary school. Another interesting thing has been when kids make the effort to finally bring in their signed library contract just so they can check out a book I've put on hold for them. All those books waiting for them are now available for their pleasure. And that's my quote of the day from one of my favorite children's authors of all time.