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April is School Library Month

 

It’s the 30th Anniversary of the designation of April as School Library Month. We may be halfway into the month, but it’s never too late to shine The Snuggery spotlight here for a bit.

That said, it’s the perfect time to perhaps pay a visit to YOUR child’s school library.

They may look perhaps very different than when you went to school.

In this age of the computer, most probably, even on the elementary level, there are computers to access the Internet, and perhaps even reference books available, such as encyclopedias, in digital form. After all, information, especially in the sciences, changes at such a rapid pace today, that the reprint costs to keep reference books current, such as encyclopedias, would be quite costly. Updating new info digitally is far less costly than reprinting an entire set, no?

There are even things called “virtual libraries”, more easily found on the high school level, where very few physical books are found, more’s the pity.

There is something very comforting and tactile to children about the physical feel of a book. The turn of a page is hard to EXACTLY duplicate with the sweep of a finger across a screen! But I digress.

At the school where I have story time for 3, 4 and 5 year olds, they still love to choose a physical book to check out as they poke around till they find a favorite themed book and proudly bring their selection to the librarians’s desk.

There’s a small lesson in personal responsibility here, too. For they quickly learn that for the time the book is in their possession, it is theirs to revel in and read, BUT it is also theirs to care for and return on time, so that another child may have the same enjoyment.

School libraries are amazing places. They need not duplicate everything a child may find in their local public library, as that would prove quite costly, but they are surprisingly broad in the quality and quantity of the selection of fiction and non fiction books that they DO offer, both for research and enjoyment.

I guess you surmised, by now, I might be coming to a gentle pitch for picture books. And here it is: why not donate books in your child’s name to their school library?

Most schools have a book event called a Book Fair that is sponsored each year. Children usually browse first, and then select a “wish list”of books for moms or grands to purchase from. And parents may also donate to the school library from a librarian’s selected list, or a title that a child particularly loves. It’s a great way to enhance a school library whose budget may be limited!

The school library is its chief resource center, and parents may be helpful in seeing that their library has all the tools necessary for preparing children for the 21st century and an academic environment that seems to be ever more rigorous.

But, at the same time, I do like to think if parents can take a deep breath, relax, focus on developing a deep love of reading by accessing that amazing world of knowledge and imagination available through books, all the rest will take care of itself. Just being a kid is quite enough for now!

If your child’s school hasn’t had their Book Fair this year, and even if they have, April might be the perfect time to donate some classic picture books that they do not have at the school; perhaps titles you think they might like. Check with the school librarian for a list or look at the Caldecott winners beginning in 1938 up to 2015. There are some wonderful titles to be found in this list.

Why not start with the picture book that has been quoted in some circles as “one of the greatest childhood classics of all time,”- “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle? If you and your child haven’t read the exploits of this famished furry one, it’s high time!

It was also voted #2 in children’s books in a 2012 survey of “School Library Journal,” readers. And extra copies of a classic are usually always welcome in elementary school libraries! If not this classic, why not pick one of your own from the link below.

I’ve also included a link that explains why reading to your child is so very important for future learning.      

Let April be the start of a collectible classic community of picture books at your child’s school library!

 

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