Bookworm Moments: Needing the School Library
July 15, 2020
My family was having a discussion about the (still undecided) question of whether my daughter's school would re-open for in-person learning in the fall. We agreed that a benefit of in-person schooling would be (I think?) access to the school library. My daughter sighed a bit over her months-long separation from the library and said:
"I need the library because I'm out of call-out books."
My husband was perplexed by this term, but I was not. My daughter was referring to the books that "call out" to her from the shelf. She is a big believer in this method of finding her next read. [Yes, she does judge books by their cover.] That's how she found her all-time favorite books to date: The Candymakers series by Wendy Mass. That's why she started Chris Colfer's Land of Stories series with Book 3. That's the one that called out the loudest (though a recommendation from a friend who was with her helped, too, in that case).
I should add that we have a LOT of middle grade books in our house, between my own collection, the books that I've received over the years for potential review, the books that I've purchased, and hand-me-downs from friends and neighbors. My daughter is incredibly lucky, and she knows this. But I'm not trained in organizing libraries. Our books aren't curated and organized the way the ones in the library are. Our books aren't all in one room, on shelves at kid-friendly heights. Though she does find books to read at home, she's right to miss browsing the school library for the "call out" books.
I miss my own elementary school library, truth be told. I went through there shelf by shelf, and can still place individual authors on the right shelves in my mind. [That's me in one of my school photos that was taken in the library.] I'm sure I found many "call out" books there. I adored Mrs. Tuttle, the librarian.
My daughter is very clear on her need for reading choice, and her own preferred methods for implementing that. I hope that she'll be able to be back in the library soon. Her preference is for her own beloved school library, but she'll take the public library as a substitute, if/when that's available. She needs those "call out" books, wherever she can find them.
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