Monday, October 23, 2006

Librarians

When I was at the giant American Library Association conference in New Orleans this summer, I met some amazing librarians involved in some amazing programmes. Here's one of them: www.ci.austin.tx.us/library/2ndchance.htm. It's a collaboration between the Austin City library and the Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center. This is a short-term detention centre for young people between the ages of 10-17. The library introduces them to books in the hopes of encouraging a lifelong reading habit. "For many of the children, this is the first time they have ever read a book outside of a school assignment." Life is hard enough on this planet; imagine what it's like for these kids starting out on the wrong foot before they even get very far down the road. Who knows what book might reach out to them? To give them strength? To give them hope?

3 comments:

Pomona said...

You've touched on a subject that is very dear to my heart. Opening up worlds to children through books is one of the reasons I wanted to be a librarian. Libraries have so much to offer young people.

I often get teenage boys visiting my library who have awful, awful home lives. Stuff I don't even want to know about. They're not much younger than me and they've probably seen things that would make my blood run cold. I only hope that they're finding solace in the many hours they spend in the library. I suppose it's better than going home for them.

OR Melling said...

Librarians and books were a big part of my not-so-great childhood. And I like to think that my writing might help kids somewhere, too. Aren't we both so lucky that we get to do what we love and also be of some use to others? Victor Frankl (who survived the Nazi concentration camps) said that beyond fame or fortune or sex or anything else, we yearn to have purpose and meaning in our lives.

devocarp said...

Your faith in our program makes us proud. Thank you so much for your support.
Devo