Thursday, January 17, 2013

When Librarians Take to the Roof!

This may be a new present for my school principals!  Attached will be a note:  Prep the ladder!  and send pizza!

M.G. King writes the true tale of Librarian RoseAleta Laurell who sought to bring in the library's reason for being - the children.

From the book: When RoseAleta Laurell begins her new job at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas, she is surprised that the children of the town think the library is for adults.

She vows to raise the money for a children's section and spends a week living and working on the library roof, even surviving a dangerous storm.

With the help of the entire town, RoseAleta raises over $39,000 from within the community and across the country.

Today if you look through the front window of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library, you will see shelves stacked full with children's books and tables and chairs just the right size. You will see artwork on the walls, and a row of busy computers.

Best of all, you will always find crowds of children who love to read and learn inside the walls of the oldest library in Texas. 

It seems unfathomable to me that a library would not be about the children.  For adults only?  I have always seen public, and even school libraries, as serving the community.  All people, all ages.  Even within my k-6 elementary schools we have books that are meant to be read-alouds for parents and students.  We have dual language books to promote reading between new arrivals and older generations who may not speak English.  Books are for imparting information, stimulating creativity, teaching literacy and critical thinking.  Books are for bonding, forming relationships with characters and those we read with.  Books help us make memories. Books help us escape a bad day and imagine what wonders tomorrow could bring.  There are no age limits on these things - they apply to the very youngest and very oldest of us all.  For a library to ignore part of the population seems so against the very nature of what a library is.   Librarian on the Roof!  is a great story showing that libraries are  meant to be used and be allowed to bring so much value to it's patrons.

More than a "library" story, this book can be used to inspire our students to create change in their own schools, communities, and world.  It shows what the dedication and determination of an individual can achieve.  It also shows that recognizing a problem exists is not enough...that there are ways to make changes.  
Ms. Laurell on the roof of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in  Lockhart, Texas.

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