When I go to my local library I spend so much time looking for gems in the children’s section that I rarely look at the adult books. Luckily, the librarians are on to me and have quietly added a Quick Picks stand of contemporary literary fiction, craftily placed right by the check out desk. So while the poor librarian scans and stamps my mountain of children’s books I have a quick peek at the quick picks. What treasures I have come away with! My last was Franzen’s Freedom and I’m fully expecting Life After Life to be waiting there for me today. Ha!
But the point is, it works. I don’t have to do anything, I’m standing there waiting anyway, the books practically climb into my bag for me. So I’m going to steal the idea for the Rainbow library, albeit on a smaller scale. The children are using the book box every week when I go in to read with them, and a handful of parents are using it at pick up and drop off time. But, a lot of the adults aren’t interested or just can’t really be bothered. The books are there, waiting, hoping, but the parents have to make an effort – look through the box, choose a book, write it down. I’m proud that books are going home with children, I’m happy that some of the children are benefiting. But…some. I can do better than that! I want ALL. I want them QUEUING UP to get their books. I want EVERY child and parent to be excited about what books might appear each week.
I have a mission. I have an acrylic book stand and I’m not afraid to use it. I am going to pop it next to the library book box with just two or three big in-your-face look-at-me books. I won’t stress about the parents noting it down in the borrow book. I won’t worry about whether the books come back or not. I will just put them there, invitingly, within reach of the grabby hands of toddlers. I have been so amazed by the generosity of authors, illustrators, publishers, bloggers, parents. I have some truly wonderful books here and I owe it to the people who have supported the library and, most of all, to the children to get them into a child’s hand and heart and imagination.
Bring on week five. Roll up for the Rainbow quick picks. I have some books to set free!