Category Archives: Libraries

Mrs. D Taught Us!

This week the “For the Love of Reading” conference is celebrating National Library Week.  And who loves guylibrarianreading more than librarians?  Librarians are no longer just keepers of books, but a valuable instructional resource — a co-partner in teaching students skills in information-gathering, critical thinking, and evaluation.

Last week a friend came over to my house for some help with her research.  I got her into one of the university’s databases and had to leave to answer the door.  When I returned there was my 13-year-old daughter explaining boolean logic to her like it was her native language!  “The more terms you enter, the more narrow your search will be,” she said…and on and on.  I secretly wished that having a librarian mom was the reason she was so well versed in research lingo, but unfortunately it was not.  “Where in the world did you learn all that?” librarianHELPSI asked.  “Mrs. D taught us,” she said as she zipped out of the room.

Mrs. D., her librarian from elementary school, was a “partner in crime” with the teachers for school projects and papers.  She didn’t just sit behind a desk and check out books.  She was a librarian on the move, working alongside teachers to educate students in information literacy, literature and loving to read. LBlibraries

How can we as parents and educators support libraries and librarians’ efforts to instill a love of reading in our children?  The American Library Association offers these tips:

  1. Get to know your school librarian. Ask what the needs are and how you can help. Donations of books and equipment such as computers and video players may be welcome. Offer to volunteer your time.
  2. Join the Friends of the Library, a support group of volunteers who provide fundraising and other assistance. If there is no group, offer to start one.
  3. Help your child be school ready. Enroll your preschool child in story-hours and other programs at the public library. childCOMPlibraryMake sure your child has a library card and knows how to use it. Read together with your child. Research shows that children who are read to in the home do better in school.
  4. Be a role model. Let your child see you reading at home. Help your child explore new technology. Many school and public libraries make computers available for public use. Feel free to ask for assistance. DCC-library1
  5. Support legislators who support libraries and education. Let them know you think the two go together and should be a high priority.

See “The School Library: What Parents Should Know”

Posted by Kim Rollins. Kim has a Masters of Library and Information Science degree from Brigham Young University and is a librarian at Utah Valley University.

If I were desperate, I might even look into what Heidi and Jo March were doing.

Guest Blog Post by Mike Freeman

When I was young, I lived on a farm in the Ozark hills of southern Missouri, and literally went to school in a two-room country schoolhouse.  one_room_school_houseWe were the real Waltons with eight children in a smTOWNmainSTfive-room house.  Even going to town was a rarity, and I didn’t care to go anyway because standing around watching my sisters shop was not that thrilling.  My brothers liked to hunt and fish but I didn’t.  We didn’t have a television and videos didn’t exist.

One thing we did have was a set of the Great Illustrated Classics and I liked to read.  Over and over again I journeyed down the Mississippi with Huck and Jim, sought treasure with longJsJim Hawkins and Long John Silver, fought duels with d’Artagnan, answered the call of the wild with Buck, and discovered those grim Grimm’s tales.  If I were desperate, I might even look into what Heidi and Jo March were doing.  All of these books fed the imagination of distant times, worlds and sites, and saved my childhood from utter boredom.

Once a month the bookmobile from the county library would appear at our school, and our teacher would select a single representative from each grade to select the Bkmbooks for the month.  Though the student was instructed to select for everyone, a marked bias always seemed to surface.  I just couldn’t believe the kinds of books those girls would choose.

Nonetheless, I was hooked and now years later, with English and History and Library Science degrees under my belt, I still musketeerscan’t find enough time for the endless lists to read.  Now that I am older, I sometimes revisit those old classics and marvel even now how well they still capture my attention.  Reading is the opportunity to look into the minds and souls of people across the ages, and to ponder all the struggles that have created our modern world.  Reading connects our common humanity, and makes us consider other points of view and ways of life.  Mark Twain said that a man who won’t read is no better than a man who can’t read.  I couldn’t say it better.

mike2Mike Freeman is the Library Director at Utah Valley University in Orem, UT. He holds a bachelors and MLS from University of Missouri, and his MA in History from the University of Utah.  Prior to coming to UVU in 1993, Mike worked at the University of South Carolina and the Orem Public Library in Utah.  He is an ardent Mark Twain fan.

Librarians Work Magic!

Libraries are magical places. I have childhood memories of losing track of time while reading through several books and magazines, sitting in a corner of a library.  I also have more recent memories of that… days when my husband took the kids and I took the keys, and drove to the library.  Sometimes I was in search of a skill, sometimes an escape, sometimes a recipe, and sometimes… I didn’t know what I needed.  I always found it, though.  Because libraries are magical places.

Jan Pinborough’s book celebrates the magic of librarians in history… and one children’s librarian in particular, in her wonderful new picture book, Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children, published this month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Because of Anne Carroll Moore, and other forward-thinking women in her day and through the years, children and teenagers have a place to come where there are resources they can use and borrow, for free, as well as someone to show them how to use them, and give them ideas about where to look for more information, or what to read next.

Librarians work magic! Some that I have seen certainly do, anyway! I discovered magic in the Ann Arbor, Michigan Public Library in 1985 on Thursday afternoons at 2:00, during “Mommy and Me” story time.  I sat cross-legged on the floor behind my two-year-old daughter, who could hardly contain herself sitting on my lap to watch Miss Susan, that magical librarian lead us in puppet shows, sing-alongs, finger-plays as she read aloud wonderful picture books week after week.  My two-year-old turned into 5-year-old who insisted on 20 new books every Monday at the San Antonio, Texas public Library, and confidently informed Miss Linda the Librarian that there was no need to go to school because we had the library and her – Miss Linda!

Magic happens every time the Provo Library at Academy Square puts on an event… in fact, a great “disappearing act” occurs every time event tickets become available, thanks to the incredible reputation of their programs and family literacy series events.  Any Fairy Princess who has appeared before H.R.H. the Fairy King (a.k.a. Library Director, Gene Nelson) leaves with much more than fairy dust on her wings and the love of books in her heart.


Yes, librarians work magic.  They create and maintain places for children or teenagers, or adults to feed our imaginations, to broaden our understandings of the world, and to create dreams and goals for ourselves that take us beyond the four walls of homes and classrooms and even the libraries in which we find ourselves.  Who is a librarian who has worked magic in your life, or in your child’s life?  Consider nominating that librarian for our Engaged Librarian Award, and return some magic back again!  It’s easy… just follow this link, and let the magic follow its course!

Posted by Nancy Peterson, Ed.D. Professor of Teacher Education at Utah Valley University, Orem, UT