On the road with the library cat flashfiction

On the road with the Library Cat #Flashfiction

My passion is education in general with a focus on the education of young children. The development of literacy is a major part of that. Much of one’s success in life depends upon being literate. Literacy is recognised by the United Nations as a basic human right. Anything that impedes a child’s ability to learn to read and write violates that right.

Being literate is not only empowering, it can be a source of joy and escape. A literate population requires access to books of all kinds so that readers can choose materials relevant to interests and purpose.

I fail to see any sense behind decisions to have school libraries without trained teacher-librarians, or indeed, to close school and public libraries. I was incredulous when I learned that new schools were opening without a library, let alone a teacher-librarian. In my opinion, the library should be the hub of the school.  I am happy to say I am not alone in that thought.

But the idea needs more support. Fortunately, there is at least one Australian politician who agrees.

As reported on the SCBWI blog, NSW Member of Parliament David Shoebridge says that “libraries should be the heart of every school and that investment in school libraries is essential!”

In the next sitting of Parliament, he is moving that “every public school student in NSW has access to a quality school library and a qualified teacher librarian.”

If only we could get all MPs in every state to support the same movement for all our children, in every state, in every school.

Last week I wrote a story about a library cat. It was well received so I decided to write another episode this week.

Carrot Ranch - Open Road

Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch made it easy for me with her challenge to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes the open road. Where will the trip lead? Who is going, and why? Follow the open road wherever it may lead! I hope you like it.

Looking for Love

Rainbow Cat clawed through the rubble. One by one she pulled out the survivors — Little Red Riding Hood, Little Miss Muffet, The Gingerbread Man; even Wolf who promised to behave.

“Where are we going?” squealed the Three Little Pigs as they piled onto the bus.

“Where children will love us, like before.”

For many, this was their first time beyond the covers of a book. As the bus roared down the open road, they peered through the windscreen and out the windows, dreaming up new adventures yet untold.

Spontaneously, they burst into a chorus of On the Road Again.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

60 thoughts on “On the road with the Library Cat #Flashfiction

  1. robbiesinspiration

    This is great, Norah. I loved your story. I am a bit shocked and surprised that they want to take the libraries out of schools in Australia. I agree that would be a very bad thing for literacy and education. Reading underpins all learning.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Robbie. Yes, reading is extremely important. I can’t imagine schools without libraries. It seems to defeat the purpose of education.

      Like

      Reply
  2. Charli Mills

    That’s one of my favorite Willie Nelson songs, Norah! Appropriate for this week’s prompt. Thank you for sharing the Neil Gamon clip. He’s absolutely right, in times of economic downturn is exactly when we need free books. Like you, I find that school libraries are the hub. And Rainbow Cat makes a return to do a good deed!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I love the song too and was pleased to find a version that went well with my children’s story. 🙂 I am pleased that you are settled now, though, Charli, and not on the road again.
      Neil Gaiman is right in so many ways. His message needs to be spread far and wide.

      Like

      Reply
  3. petespringerauthor

    Anyone who has been working in the American educational system is not going to be surprised by this development. I retired three years ago after teaching thirty-one years, and we lost more and more educational resources with each passing year. We used to have classroom aides, school nurses, and school psychologists. Our instrumental band and choir are now after school programs rather than part of the regular school day. More and more services are cut or reduced. Teachers are taking on more and more of the burden, and they can’t even get cost of living raises though they are doing more than ever.

    We used to have a full-time librarian when I started. By the time I left, the librarian was only a half-time position. Many teachers had no option but to become the librarian, or their students wouldn’t be able to check out books when they brought their classes to the library. Three years later, they no longer have a trained teacher/librarian. There still is a parttime person operating the library, but she also does other things around the school. The entire thing makes me sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I hear you, Pete. The situation is dire and extremely sad. It just doesn’t make sense. It is false economy all the way through. We need a more educated population, not a lesser one. Without teachers like you (and me) who really care about kids and their learning, I don’t think there’d be much positive happening in schools. What there is, is due to the dedication of teachers who work far beyond what should be expected of them to deliver quality education in difficult, and often thankless, situations.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. thecontentedcrafter

    I think libraries, along with the arts are threatened globally. Unless it is technologically based, or money (income) related there is a large aspect of society that sees no need for it……. It is an incredibly ignorant overview of what education consists of and is intended to nurture. This flash opens the way for many further adventures for the travelling story books – it could turn into a novel 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Yes, yes, yes. I so agree with what you have said about libraries, Pauline. I wish they’d get those false economists out of their roles in making decisions about education and let the educators make them. The economy would improve greatly.
      There may be more stories for the library cat. I’m not sure about a novel though. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Annika Perry

    Yeah, another Rainbow Cat installment! Love it! 😀 I’m with you on the importance of libraries within schools and ones staffed by a librarian … it should definitely be the hub of the school and I have fond memories of mine from school – shelves upon shelves of books, huge tables to work out, chatting and getting told off!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Libraries are a haven in so many ways, aren’t they, Annika? What a loss for future generations to never know the joys of libraries, even being told off in one! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    A great follow-up to last week – although I have to say I got totally confused when I saw the words library cat, wondering if this week had actually happened. I’m blaming that on my 99-word story being about dementia on the road ahead (an actual road, not a metaphor thankfully).
    I share the sadness at the loss of libraries among the many other things we’re losing of cultural value.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Anne. Though I apologise for confusing you. I look forward to reading your story (if I haven’t already – memory loss!)
      It will be a sad world without libraries. I can’t believe in the decision to open schools without libraries.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  7. Stephanie DiMartino

    Thank you for the commentary. Yes, we should be doing more with libraries, not less. Literacy empowers students. Libraries transport them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. calmkate

    delightful story and thanks for sharing … I had no idea libraries were threatened!

    I love libraries, a member of many and spend lots of time there reading, borrowing and going to their public talks by authors … libraries are the hub of community!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
      1. calmkate

        shocking!
        i thought libraries were sacred
        they are for me
        without them where would we be?

        quiet spaces to retreat to
        read and browse
        recharge devices
        listen to guest speakers
        book clubs and reviews
        the world stored on paper …

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
            1. Norah Post author

              By complaining loudly to those with the power to do so; for example politicians starting with our local members. And letting everyone else who cares know.

              Liked by 1 person

              Reply
                    1. Norah Post author

                      We all are in some areas, Kate, but recognising that keeps us on our toes and learning. It’s only when we don’t realise that we have gaps that we stop learning.

                      Liked by 1 person

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