Yesterday I had a student come in at the first bell to return a book. She had Because of Mr. Terupt in her hand and said she had finished it. I have a wall of posters with one for each of our state book award nominees that students can sign when they finish one of the books.
Anyway, this young lady had finished the book and came in to let me know so she could sign the poster for Terupt, which is a nominee. She also gushed about how much she loved it.
I got her a marker in the color of her choice and she signed her name.
Then the hard part came.
It was time to return the book!
She almost couldn’t do it.
Hugging the book to her chest she again told me how much she loved it. I asked her if she wanted to keep it another day or two to read her favorite parts again. In the end she decided to return it because there is a waiting list for copies. She also wanted to start Touch Blue from the nominee list. I let her know that I thought she would also love that one. She also said that she wished there was a sequel so she could read it to. There is, but I haven’t purchased it yet. I let her know I would add it to my January purchase order and it would be available this year before she leaves for middle school. (She was a bit worried that she might never get to read it!)
It was such a heartwarming way to start the day. I sometimes feel that I don’t get enough time to connect with students as readers. I do my best about recommendations and do talk about their favorites, but this moment really made me realize how important our job as readers is in the library. I’m so behind on my list of kids’ books. I’m envious of librarians who take more time to read. I admit that I spend too much time on other pursuits such as Big Bang Theory reruns and blogging.
I also need more ways to make those good connections to students who are looking for specific books. Another student finished Becuase of Mr. Terupt about six weeks ago. At that time she asked me for other books like it and was interested in books told in different points of view. I recommended View from Saturday. She reported the other day that she’s reading it, but she’s also interested in books like Terupt that have a kind of miracle in them. I had the hardest time thinking of titles to recommend.
One issue is my lack of reading lately. I need to get to Barnes & Noble and buy a stack of new releases to dig into. Another issue is my collection. It’s a little bit older. Most of the newer books in the collection are all part of a series. Other than the state award nominees purchased each year I don’t think that individual novels have been a purchasing priority. In my first year of purchases for the collection last year I added to the series mania by filling in some of the gaps that existed such as 39 Clues. Junior Library Guild is a great way to add individual titles, but right now I don’t have the upper grade levels. I may need to make some changes there. I wonder if the series isssue is a concern for a lot of librarians? Students do hook into familiar characters and plot structures, but we also have patrons who are avid readers and want to go beyond. I’m not sure I’m servicing them well enough.
So, a little bit of wonderful and a little bit of “I’ve got to do better!”