Every now and then, us school librarians decide to get wild and crazy. Well, in actuality, it happens more than you might think, but never more so than in the heady spring days of April. When April rolls around, it is a jammed pack month, library wise. It's poetry month, Red Clover and Dorothy Canfield Fisher voting (at least in Vermont), and (drum roll, please) School Library Month. And the birthdays! Hans Christian Anderson, Shakespeare, Beverly Cleary... there is never a dull day in the library, you see.
So, as if I don't already have a million and one things on the back (and front) burners, I threw caution to the wind and accepted The Busy Librarian's Shelf Challenge. My mission, which I choose to accept, is to read the "C" section of library's picture books. Phew. Not so tough after all. I have about four cubicles of "C" books, just enough to give me a challenge, but not so much to overwhelm me.
This assignment has me doing something I haven't done for years. Reading. Yes, actually reading a book, to myself, not aloud, and not on the sly. Really reading, from cover to cover. On the clock. There's a myth that us librarians get to read all the time. And we do. Many of us in fact read lots and lots and lots of books. But, never on the job. Always after hours, on our own couches, in our tubs, and while swinging on our hammocks during summer vacation. Never, ever, ever while getting paid to do so.
I think I actually nearly gave someone a heart attack - they were so shocked to see me sitting on a chair near the bookshelves, just reading. When they didn't see me at my usual perch at the computer, they thought I wasn't in the library. I feel like such a rebel. To read. To be a reader. To be caught in the act of reading. At work. In a library. Oh, the irony!
I've read about a quarter of my assigned books so far and weeded out three. (I'm keeping track on a Google Doc.) But the gems! Here are four that go beautifully together, tied together for a farm-related theme perfect for preschool through third grade. All four are absolute keepers on their own but woven together, their symbiosis becomes sublime. A discovery I never would have made hadn't I been caught ... reading.