Monday, August 8, 2016
Rick Riordan was 12 or 13, James Patterson was 19, Diane Rehm was 21, and The Dad was 28, at these "late ages" each finally found their way to book love.
Sadly, these wonderful people would have been considered reluctant readers in elementary school, fortunately all went to become ravenous readers. What made it happen? Was it worth the wait? How do we help the reluctant readers in our lives fall in love with reading?
"For many years we had 6 to 7 o'clock, that was our reading time," Rick Riordan shared. "I don't care what you're reading, but you're reading. I'm reading too, because if the parents say they're too busy to read, well, of course the kids are going to feel the same way." According to Rick if you want a child in your life to read it's all about what you do, not what you say.
We agree, The Four of Us read whenever we have a moment and make certain there are tons of books to choose from because as James Patterson explains one of the keys to getting kids to read is "freedom of choice." The Big Sister believes that any child would like to read, "they just have to find the right book, it may be a comic book, but that is a start!" The Little Sister adds, "Calvin and Hobbes is great book to read!"
Go on an adventure with your reluctant reader: together visit the library. Make sure you have time to wander and discover. And make sure you take turns, let your child watch you try to find a good book. And don't be afraid to ask for help, find a librarian, ask them how to go on a library treasure hunt. Then schedule your library adventures regularly, mark them on the calendar and plan accordingly. Whatever you do the first step is simple: grab a book and start reading!
Thursday, April 21, 2016
"Poetry is a record of the life around us and in us, and you'll get a better idea from poetry what it was like to be alive in 2011 than you will from the New York Times." Garrison Keillor
The Big Sister recently learned that she loves to write poetry. With this came a new understanding of poetry and how truly wonderful poetry is.
April 21, 2016 is national Poem In Your Pocket Day, the idea is simple: select a poem you love then carry it with you to share throughout the day. Want other ways to participate? Click here for a treasure trove, brought to you by the Academy of American Poets. (In 2016 The League of Canadian Poets have extended Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada!)
The Put a Poem in Your Pocket Challenge is to find a poem and share it with BFWP (post it in the comments.) Then if you choose, print it, carry it in your pocket, and share it with people in honor of Poem in Your Pocket Day!
- Visit www.poets.org. There you will find a treasure trove of information.
- To randomly search for a poem by topic, author or first line click here for poets.org amazing search engine. On that page we found this quote: "For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences." Rainer Maria Rilke
- Visit this very cool interactive map to search for local poets in the USA, click here to learn more.
- To enjoy a daily dose of poetry visit The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor --it is one of The Mom's secrets to a lovely day, start it inspired.
Now it is your turn, find a poem and share it! The Big Sister adds, "it is okay to share your own poetry!"
Read the comments --you might like some of the poems that have been shared! Please use the following format for your comment: Title of Poem, Author, and your thoughts on the poem.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Need the PERFECT holiday gift? How about a gift that is simple, inexpensive, and local; a gift that literally keeps on giving?
No, we're not suggesting the WHOLE thing, would there even be a box that big? We can imagine our library wrapped in a BIG bow. We came up with 10 ways to give friends and relatives The Library as a gift! Enjoy:
|Get your new bags at|
all branches of Traverse
Area District Library!
- Give library bags or wrap presents in your local libraries re-usable bags! (This suggestion is inspired by Traverse Area District Library's wonderful move for the environment: reusable bags in a rainbow of colors.)
- Give a library card! Know someone that doesn't have a library card, a child perhaps? Slip a library card form into their stocking or into a christmas card and explain that you are giving them thousands of books, movies, music and oh, so much more for Christmas.
- Give a "Friends of the Library" Membership. A great way to support libraries and often the membership is inexpensive --give a lifetime membership, very generous!
- Shop at library gift shops. Our local library has an amazing gift shop with lovely bookish gifts, cards and treasures. According to Carolyn Moehle, Manager of the TADL gift shop, "we have tons of stocking stuffers!" Contact the library for gift shop hours. Shop online via New York Public Library's extensive gift shop. Call your local library and see if they have a gift shop!
- Giving someone an eReader? Check to see if their local library has OverDrive. OverDrive is an amazing online resource that many libraries use to give access to ebooks and audio books to patrons. Click here to see if your local library uses OverDrive. Then give the eReader with literally thousands of books, wow!
- Giving books for Christmas? Stop by your library and get information on how to donate books. Then in the gift card suggest that when the giftee finishes the book they donate it to the library!
- Donate books to a library in the name of a friend. Be sure to call you library and ask what books they need. Then put a bookplate with "Donated by: your friend's name", take a photo of the book plate and slip it into a card with an explanation! We always love when we come across books at the library that were given in honor.
- The lovely Holiday Book Sale at
- Have a friend that is notorious for racking up library fines? Stop by their branch and deposit a bit of money into their account. Due to privacy issues the library can't tell you how much they owe --but they can credit an account! Take a photo with the librarian as you pay the fines (with big smiles) and slip it into a gift card!
- Give a library date. Invite the giftee on a library adventure. Often there are music and special events at the library --spend the day at the library with your friend. Remember the best way to give the library is to USE IT!!
Give the Library a present for Christmas:
- Clear out your bookshelves and donate them to your local branch.
- Give your librarians a present! We like to give a big basket of oranges and chocolate, lots of chocolate... lots and lots of chocolate.
- The simplest gift: Use your library. That is the best way to show you care.
Now get out there
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
UPDATE on March 25, 2015 Detroit Public Library Celebrates its 150th Birthday! Congratulations!!
Explore the library care of the Detroit Free Press, click here.
And enjoy our visit to the magnificent Main Branch below.
On a beautiful Friday afternoon in May 2012, The Four of Us entered The Detroit Public Library's Main Branch. The Mom returned to an old favorite place; The Dad and The Sisters discovered a new favorite place. In a nutshell, this is what we learned: knowledge is power, education is freedom, which are free gifts to those who choose to use the Detroit Public Library.
The Mom, The Little Sister, The Big Sister -out from behind our books-
with our new friend Uzoma Onyemaechi
We were welcomed by U
"At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic
threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better." Barack Obama
No beard, beard. Which Abraham Lincoln would you vote for?
Grace Bedell's Letter with amazing penmanship!
A state of the art, freshly renovated
area, incredibly inviting.
Question #2: Why do you think libraries are an important part of a community? To us, the answer was clear by the abundant resources around each corner and on each shelf. Uzo pointed out a few highlights: the seasonal tax center where the Uzo clarified how important these types of resources are, used concepts like "Digital Divide" and explained that the library gives access to information and technology that otherwise would be unavailable to many citizens. Smiling, Uzo shared a tidbit of his own story: his father encouraged him with the idea that "education is freedom". Thanks to Detroit Public Library so many people find education and freedom, including the often overlooked and under served citizens.
Happy Teens @ DPL
Enter H.Y.P.E. (Helping Young People Excel) Teen Center, you must be 13-18 years old to get in on this action --we were allowed, our Tour Guide, the privilege of a quick visit to witness the magic. This is what we saw: one group of kids playing the latest music video game; others huddled over books; a stage, waiting an impromptu performance; big, flat screens a-buzz with entertainment, children clicking away on computers, learning; a room filled with the loud hush of happy kids; comfy chairs for quite reading; and adults with a watchful eyes, ready to help and provide whatever these fortunate young patrons needed. Perhaps H.Y.P.E. should stand for Happy Young People Excel.
BONUS INTERVIEW with O
Question #3: How can children support the library? Mr. Uzo listed some suggestions:
- Come to the library, click here to visit DPL
- Ask your parents to join the Friends of the Library and to volunteer
- Donate books
- Check out the library's programs
- Simply, "use it!"
Adam Strohm Hall ceiling
One of our last stops and a moment that is etched solidly in our memories is when Uzo read the frieze of inscriptions that winds around the ceiling of Adam Strohm Hall. On the ceiling they are blended into one and credited, the quotes are no less moving:
"Read not to contradict and confute nor to believe and take for granted, but to weigh and consider." Francis Bacon, philosopher (1561-1626)"Through seas of knowledge we our course advance, discovering still new worlds of ignorance." John Denham, poet (1615-1669)
"Books are the most enduring monuments of a man's achievements. Through them, civilization becomes cumulative." Cass Gilbert (1859-1934) the architect of the 1921 Main Library (An interesting fact we found when researching: the 1963 addition was designed by his son Cass Gilbert Jr. and Francis J. Keally.)
Our tour lead us all over an amazing library and everywhere we looked we wanted to know more and we didn't even begin using the library, we were just experiencing it as a place. During our visit and follow up research we spoke to several other members of DPL staff including Randolph Call, Assistant Director for Technical Services at DPL. He shared data about the library's collection and noted yet another wonderful truth: "libraries are community centers, a safe place for everyone." We'd like to thank Randolph, Mark, Steve, Janet, Oneka, Uzo and all of the staff and volunteers at Detroit Public Library. With their help we learned that libraries are so much more than just book repositories; libraries are portals through which we can visit our past and find our future; libraries are a free gift to our present, if only we learn how to use them.
During our research found an amazing resource "Detroit Public Library: Information for Readers and Visitors", originally published in 1922, the book is full of unmatched information about the historic building, click this link and enjoy the digitized version. Thank you to Kathy Daniels who is an amazing editor! (re)Discovering Detroit Public Library is dedicated to the memory of Dan Daniels. The Mom's Uncle Dan loved DPL and was very proud of the Burton Historical Collection. We think he would be proud that we are carrying on his library love legacy! (This article was originally published in 2012.)