Tag Archives: libraries

For the Love of Books – #readilearn

Next Monday 14 February is a day with much to celebrate. As well as Valentine’s Day, it’s Library Lovers’ Day and International Book Giving Day.

It’s not difficult for me to talk about love and books in the same sentence as I have loved books for as long as I can remember. Although my reading habits have changed over the years, I have always been an avid reader and was a dedicated borrower of books from the library as I was growing up.

As an adult, I tend/ed to purchase rather than borrow for my own reading and could never pass a book shop without purchasing something for me, a family member or friend, and a picture book or three for my classroom collection. Books borrowed from the school library filled out the classroom library.

A birthday, Christmas or other occasion never passed without giving and receiving books. So, being able to combine the celebration of love, books and an appreciation for libraries is a treat. Nothing could be easier. Simply take someone you love to the library and gift them a book.

About Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day probably needs no introduction. In many parts of the world, it is a day for celebrating love and romance. Gifts of chocolates, flowers and verses in cards are often given.

Of course, in the classroom, our discussions aren’t about romantic love, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about those important people in our lives whom we do love.

Children can write their own “I love” poem by innovating on the traditional camping song I love the mountains.

Continue reading: For the Love of Books – readilearn

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

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The Library Cat Flash fiction

The Library Cat #Flashfiction

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a library cat named Rainbow who escapes. Use this situation to write what happens next. Where does this e=situation take place, and who else might be involved? Go where the prompt leads!

I haven’t joined in the prompts recently for a variety of reasons — other priorities mainly. However, I couldn’t resist this one about libraries and stories — two things of which I am very fond.

I think a cat, especially a rainbow cat, would make a wonderful addition to any library, especially one packed with great children’s literature. I can just imagine the children reading while the cat devours every word.

Of course, I had libraries, books, stories and children in mind as I wrote my story in verse —aimed at a younger audience, of course. I hope you enjoy it, nonetheless.


The Library Cat

The library cat is fatter than fat.

She sits by the door on the welcome mat.

She greets the readers as they come in —

Nods her head with a welcome grin.


Sometimes she’s in. Sometimes she’s out.

She’s especially quiet when a reader’s about.

She sits so still you can see her purr

When the reader strokes her rainbow fur.


She’s heard every story there is to be told.

Even the classics never grow old.

But read her stories of adventures rare

She twitches her whiskers, “I’ve been there.

No need of a cape. Reading books is my escape.”

Thank you blog post

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libraries books reading, importance of school libraries

readilearn: Libraries, books and reading = infinite worlds to explore

What is your fondest memory of a library?

Books, books, and more books. More books than I could ever read.

Books to inform, books to entertain, books to amuse, books to escape the everyday world.

Libraries, books and reading

As a child, I borrowed from the school library and the public library. I remember walking the 3.7 kilometres (2 ¼ miles in those pre-metric days of my childhood) to the public library most Saturdays and coming home with an armload of books.

As a parent, I read to and with my children many times a day —morning, afternoon and evening. Books were always given as gifts, and we had shelves filled with books we owned, but these were always supplemented with books borrowed from the library. We could never have too many books.

As a teacher, I shared my love of reading with the students, making the most of every opportunity to read to them, regardless of whether it be reading time, maths time, science time or whatever time.

Many of the children I taught had not had early opportunities to fall in love with books. I believed (believe) it is imperative to foster a love of reading and learning to empower children, soon-to-be-adults, in making their own educated and informed life choices. The families of many of these children could not afford to purchase books, but with access to school and public libraries, there was never a reason for them to be without books to read.

Nowadays, libraries are not just books, and the old library cards have been replaced with digital catalogues and borrowing systems. Not only is there more to know, but there are also more ways for information to be stored and shared, and more ways to learn.

The role of teacher librarians


Continue reading: readilearn: Libraries, books and reading = infinite worlds to explore

Dimity Powell, author, discusses the importance of libraries

readilearn: Libraries: A wondrous universe to explore — A guest post by Dimity Powell

This week I am delighted to introduce you to award-winning children’s author Dimity Powell.

Dimity likes to fill every spare moment with words. She writes and reviews stories exclusively for kids and is the Managing Editor for Kids’ Book Review. Her word webs appear in anthologies, school magazines, junior novels, as creative digital content, and picture books including The Fix-It Man (2017) and At The End of Holyrood Lane (2018).

She is a seasoned presenter both in Australia and overseas, an accredited Write Like An Author facilitator and a Books in Homes Role Model Volunteer in Australia.

Dimity believes picture books are soul food, to be consumed at least 10 times a week. If these aren’t available, she’ll settle for ice-cream. She lives just around the corner from Bat Man on the Gold Coast although she still prefers hanging out in libraries than with superheroes.

In this post, Dimity shares her love of libraries and explains why it is important to ensure every child has access to a library at school and every reader a local library.

Welcome to readilearn, Dimity. Over to you.

Continue reading: readilearn: Libraries: A wondrous universe to explore — A guest post by Dimity Powell

It’s classic!

By UnknownMarie-Lan Nguyen (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By UnknownMarie-Lan Nguyen (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

This week at the Carrot Ranch Charli Mills is talking about the classics and libraries. I was a bit intrigued by the coincidence, for my current audiobook is A Classical Education The stuff you wish you were taught in school, written by Caroline Taggart and narrated by Bill Wallis. Maybe the words would reflect my situation better if they read “The stuff you wish you retained from what you learned in school”. I did study ancient history and even retained enough of it to get a passing grade in my final year of school, but most of what I learned dissipated once the exam was done.

Although I am enjoying the audiobook, I think I will be none the wiser at its conclusion and retain little more than in earlier days. It is a reflection on my retention rather than the worthiness of the book.  At the top of Taggart’s webpage is a statement from the Yorkshire Post that I think is probably no idle boast:

Caroline Taggart…has carved out a niche for herself in user-friendly, wittily written factual books which capture the imagination and quickly find their way to the top of the bestseller lists. 

Prior to reading this statement I had thought that it was perhaps the narration that had brought the book alive in a most entertaining way. I was surprised that the narrator was not the author for the wonderful meanings and interest he evokes. If not the author then, I thought, he must be a wonderful character actor. Indeed, I was not surprised to find, he was.

According to the Yorkshire Post, the writing itself is worthy too, though it seems to me, in many ways to be little more than a list of names, dates and snippets of events brought to life by an expert narrator. I’m not sure that I would read it cover to cover as I have listened to it, but it would definitely make a useful resource for checking out who and when, which is more or less impossible to do with an audiobook.

ausines headphones

One thing I have not liked about the book is the repeated opinion that maths and science in school are boring, and that most of us would only groan when thinking of what mathematicians like Archimedes and Pythagoras have burdened us with. If you’ve read many of my posts you would probably accuse me of being inconsistent, for haven’t I often agreed with that opinion of maths at school?


However, learning in mathematics should not be that way. I wish that everything we learned in school would be alive with interest, purpose and meaning. Then there’d be no need to groan. We’d be amazed and inspired by these great thinkers who have enlightened our lives.

Arthur Benjamin, Mathemagician, would agree.

He summarises his talk with these words:

“Mathematics is not just solving for x, it’s also figuring out why.”

But I digress a little. Charli’s main point was about the joy to be found in libraries. In my younger years I spent many hours in libraries. And if I wasn’t in a library, I was reading a book I’d borrowed from a library. Our home was filled with books but there were never enough to read and my parents and many of my siblings were frequent library book borrowers. On many Saturday afternoons throughout my teenage years I would walk the 5½ kilometre journey to the local library and back. I can’t remember how many books I was allowed to borrow, but I borrowed as many as I could.

So many things about libraries have changed from those days of enforced silence, carded catalogues, and microfiche readers. But I don’t feel nostalgic for it. The systems are much more efficient now, and libraries have much more to offer the changing needs of a changing society.

What does sadden me is that many local councils and schools are doing away with their libraries, and many schools are choosing administrators over teacher librarians when organising their staffing. A teacher librarian should be first enlisted. Nobody knows books and readers better than a teacher librarian.

While I have not frequented my local library in recent years, I would be very distressed if it were to close. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to choose ownership over borrowing as I do. Libraries are important to communities and should be accessible to everyone; and not only for their books. Libraries play a significant role in developing a sense of community by providing meeting spaces for books clubs and groups of all sorts, activities for children including storytelling and reading, craft activities, films, games and puzzles, visits by authors and illustrators …

They are also a great place to brush up on the classics that you may have missed out on in school, or find a book about mathematics that may inspire you to ask a big question and figure out why.

The idea for my flash in response to Charli’s challenge, to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a library, comes from the idea of taking books to the people, in their own neighbourhoods, and connects with my thoughts for an early childhood caravan.

© Norah Colvin

© Norah Colvin

Another life, another dream, another possibility …

 The Book Lady

She pulled the trailer from the shed, cleaned off the grime, gave it a lick of paint and hitched it to its once permanent position behind her bicycle. A trial ride around the yard confirmed all, including her knees, were still in working order. She propped the bike against the stairs and trundled back to her library where books lay scattered, spewed from shelves no longer able to hold them. She bundled them lovingly, tied them with memories, and wished them new hands to hold and hearts to love. It was time to share, and she knew just where.

Thank you

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