Thanks for support

Dear Editor,

Kudos to the St. Clairsville Public Library and its staff for opening up this year’s summer reading program, “Build A Better World,” in grand style. All of the library engineers and operators reported to the site to make sure that everyone was being taken care of and enjoying the event.

I personally have never seen so many people at the library, and I must say it was exciting to see so many young faces eager to be there selecting their own books, participating in the all the fun activities, exchanging hellos to friends, and enjoying a quick bite to eat. The library staff went above and beyond to raise an awareness for the importance of embedding an early, lifelong, love for reading.

As a reading teacher, it saddens me to see school libraries collapsing to the classroom library. I know I should appreciate the fact that we have libraries in our classrooms, but that opportunity doesn’t invite children into reading as the “good old-fashioned trip” to the library once did. Kids don’t get classroom time to meander around the room to select a book, at least at my level, due to all the demands of testing that are placed on us. Kids are losing library time to computer time, practicing typing skills and practicing “how to answer test questions.” Kids don’t want to take the time to honestly select a book in the classroom library because often there are too many outside factors that don’t allow them to relax and concentrate on finding something more specific to them or there is something more exciting going on. R.J. Palacio stated in Mr. Browne’s “365 Days of Wonder,” “Well you can’t really force him to eat veggies, guys, but your job is to make sure they’re on his plate. He can’t eat them if they’re not even on his plate.” We can’t expect our kids to value and love reading if we don’t present the opportunity to them. We have to show them; it’s our responsibility. Providing that trip to the library models to our kids that reading is important; it says let’s take time out of our day to read something that we may enjoy because it is important. Let’s value the chance, the freedom to allow our kids the opportunity to use their imaginations, to travel to Narnia, Hogwarts, and Outer Space. Let’s open doors to help them imagine life long ago or perhaps what the future may hold.

And so kudos again to the St. Clairsville Public Library, members of Friends of the Library, the folks who assisted with face painting, the clown who made balloon creations for any kid that wanted one, the St. Clairsville police for marking off parking spots for library patrons, and especially all of the parents who value reading and demonstrated the importance of reading today to our children. We have to get back to the basics, folks; literature teaches our children lots of wonderful things like being empathetic, overcoming the odds, working together, valuing family, working hard, and being dedicated to a cause. Together we can “Build A Better World/Community” one library trip at a time. Way to go, St. C. Library! Happy reading, kids!

Heidi Mooney

St. Clairsville