When I was a kid my mother handed down the oft-repeated threats of mothers everywhere: Some day you are going to have a daughter just like you. Imagine my relief when my first child was a boy.
There are a few common things people ask when they learn I’m a librarian. The questions are usually what I’m reading and how to download an ebook. The most common occurrence is a quiet admission that they haven’t been to a library lately because they are embarrassed by having too many fines.
The ideal of the public library is to be a welcoming place for everyone. With this in mind, the library plans programs to satisfy the intellectual and educational needs and interests of a variety of people regardless of their ages, backgrounds or abilities.
The first time I applied eye makeup was at a grade school slumber party. There were six of us, all jacked up on sugar and we spent an evening painting our faces and singing along to popular boy bands. I came across the photo recently and remembered how grown up we thought we were, lined up and posing, with more color on our faces than circus clowns.
The library system recognizes that kids who continue to learn, read and experiment throughout summer break are better prepared for the next school year. What was once considered the summer reading program has expanded into a Summer Learning Program.
I had just started my job at the Bellevue branch of the King County Library System when my husband and two-year-old son decided to meet me at the library for lunch. There was a special holiday story time in the morning and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for my husband to experience story time with our son.
I was wrong.
I’ve been thinking about Laura Palmer. I was in high school when Twin Peaks came out and I’d watch it every week then discuss it with my friends at lunch the following day. As an adult, much hasn’t changed except I talk about shows like Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey.
My kids are good travelers, but they’re not so good at getting along on road trips. They can make a five-hour drive feel like ten. I’ve discovered that audio books are a more effective pacifier than threats to pull over.
The last time I did a story time was Feb. 28, 2001. I was completing hours for a directed field work to gain experience in children’s services. I was nervous to do my first story time, but excited too, because it was a Dr. Seuss themed event. What could go wrong?
I signed up for NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It’s a fun and free challenge to complete a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. The last 200-page manuscript I wrote took nearly two years to complete and it’s still a mess. However, there’s a new database designed for the home user – and it’s free.
All these years I’ve kept my favorite childhood book: a student dictionary. As a kid, I’d sit in my room and read it like a novel. The writing was on the wall that I’d grow up to work in a field related to books and language.
The King County Library System has a new iPhone app to record reading time called READometer. This can be used to encourage reading or spark a little competition between friends, classrooms or siblings.
For many of us, our families moved to the United States decades or even centuries ago to follow dreams or start new lives. For others, this journey is new, with recent immigrants in the library enjoying English language practice through the Talk Time program or citizenship classes.
Summer vacation is approaching and it’s a great time to encourage your kids to read. Kids who read consistently are less likely to experience the brain dump known as the “Summer Slide.” How do you keep them reading?
I became a librarian partly because I have a terrible memory. I knew that I’d do well in a field where it was acceptable to look things up frequently. This is helpful when my kids ask me questions.
King County Library System has started a year-long program series surrounding food. The library system recognizes that even if we aren’t stellar cooks, there is always a program to support us.
Several nights ago I sat at the dining room table with my son to work on the final touches of a science project. I paused and bit my tongue because what I really wanted to say sounded dangerously close to something a curmudgeon would say like, “you kids these days have it so easy” and “get off my lawn.” It can’t be easy being a librarian’s kid.