Katherine’s kindergarten class goes to the library once a week. Before the winter holiday break, the librarian filled round tables with appropriate books for the children. By doing this, she kept her youngest patrons from going crazily through her shelves and creating library mayhem.
After the break though, the children were introduced to browsing sticks and shown to the shelves. Katherine talked about this rite of passage with amazing pride. She told me step by step the proper way to look for books, where to place your browsing stick and where to put your book if your stick falls out but you don’t want to bring that book home. The librarian had thought of everything.
And then, as if a drum roll played in the background, Katherine showed me her first independent library choice. At Mary Bloom’s by Aliki published in 1987.
Of course, the book was dated and looked so. At first, I was a bit disappointed. Perhaps I wasn’t looking forward to a year filled with reading out of print books that somehow caught Katherine’s eye. And I opened the book. Not only was the story quite sweet but the book had a smell. The exact smell of Rumford Public Library, my childhood library. A library hundred’s of miles away from Somerville.
If you sniff, can you smell it? I bet you can. And I bet it brings back some pretty good memories…