Nothing in Common

We are so lucky to have Brenda Steffens as part of our community.  She is our book lady and because of her, a huge amount of kids in the county get free books, she is our Dolly.  This week she delivered 2 large tubs of books to the library.  We use these books for weekly prizes for our summer reading program attendees.  I currently have 4 titles pulled and on my desk, yep, I love looking through them and, yep, even reading them. 

Each week, Brittany and Kelly have a collection of these books on display, 4 names are drawn and they get to pick the books they want.  Last year we did this too, but COVID limited the ability for the kids to pick.  We gave this job to Kate, I found out this week that she did not enjoy that task, “I am so glad I don’t have to do that this year, I don’t like censoring the books available.”  What a good librarian, a task as simple as picking a book for a kid seemed like censorship to her, and I agree with her.  We laughed and said that the books people don’t want, are probably the ones they should be reading, but again, we realize that goes both ways.  Kate and I have similar beliefs, with, “be kind to everyone”, being the central theme. 

After our discussion, I said, well, there is my bookworm for the week.  At first I thought I would list books that I wish everyone would read and then contrast that idea with books I refused to read, you know, to let people know I can see both sides.  But, I realize we have been down this road before. “We get it, Stacey, read outside what you know.”  Yep, we all get it, but how good are we at doing it?  Sorry, to say, but I am not hopeful, I still see too many great books sitting on the shelf because they are “windows” and not “mirrors.” 

I think it is hard for us to change as we grow older, a lot of our readers can attest to this idea.  Patrons will come up with a pile of books and our scanner beeps angrily at each item the person has already read, then I will hear them say, “I guess I should try other authors.”  For sure, then we ask what genres they like and try to guide them to new authors to gobble up.  Most people try, but this still does not cover the “window”, we still stay with what we are comfortable with, so I guess we need to start somewhere else. 

This brings us back to the 4 books from Brenda’s donations that are laying on my desk.  All 4 are children’s picture books and they restore my hope for the “be kind to everyone” world I want. 

Book 1 – The Book Rescuer by Sue Macy, this book is the true story of Aaron Lansky.  “Books are big enough and powerful enough to define and contain identity.” “We didn’t eat much…but we always bought a book. It was a necessity of life.” 

Book 2 – We Are a Garden by Lisa Westberg Peters, the subtitle for this book is “A Story of How Diversity Took Root in America”, need I say more, or how about I at least mention that history can be shared accurately even for small kids to read. 

Book 3 – Another by Christian Robinson, this book is a wordless book, only the inside flap has these words, “What if you encountered another perspective? Discovered another world? Met another you? What might you do?”

Book 4 – Nothing in Common by Kate Hoefler, this book is a sweet story about people that have nothing in common, but begin to notice “how connection can sometimes float over us and land in extraordinary ways.”

With books like these, hopefully we will see a new generation of readers formed, readers that read windows and mirrors.  A new generation that is kind to everyone, because they see everyone.  Thanks for the books, Brenda, it means so much more than just putting a book in a child’s hand. 

Upcoming Events: 6/9 Summer Reading Program at 10am, 6/12 STEAM at 10:30am