the effect of what i do. August 26, 2009Posted by Katie in library work.
Every year, the first prize given away at my library in the teen summer reading program is a book. The first prize. A lot of libraries save their book giveaway for the last prize, for the teens who complete the program. In my library, my teens do not own books like I do. When they go to Borders, it is to browse for book titles only to return to the library with a list of manga twenty volumes long that they need placed on hold.
I love this. And I hate it at the same time. I love that they come to me to get their books, that they visit the library. I hate that they don’t own books that they want to own.
I see the value in giving them a book — I see it at every Teen Book Club I run, every TBC where I give away fifteens paperback copies of the book we’re reading. Every TBC when a teen asks me, “Can I really keep this?” and I get to see their face light up when I reply, “Yes.”
My teens votes on book club selections. They also vote on what books will go on the prize cart. Yes, we had thirty plus copies of “Twilight,” but we also had Printz winners, BBYA selections, and even Gossip Girl. I will buy them whatever they want to read.
So our book prize is our first prize. It is also our last prize, once they do complete the program. I tell you all about this because I want you to understand the magnitude of what happened in my library on Monday.
I returned to my job after a week’s vacation (I burned my feet and was forced on bed rest) to find a copy of John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” tucked into my inbox. Puzzled, I found a post-it note attached to the front in a co-worker’s handwriting. It said that one of my teens wanted to donate this to the library to be put into the collection. Just inside the book, right behind the title page, I found a note.
The note is as follows:
Dear Readers, I read this book and it personally moved me. I must tell you that I cried at the end of this book. I am not saying this is a totally sad book. For me, it’s not. It starts a new beggining [sp] from an ending. I learned something from the character Miles in this book. I found my “Great Perhaps”. I hope this book has as much meaning to you, as it did me. P.S. – Be thankful I was willing to share. 🙂 Sincerely, [Teen].
I have never felt more proud and happy in my life.