Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My valentine goes to librarians.

I'm loving winter this year. Very little snow. Lots of time to write.
Today I'll finish some small tweaks on REALITY BOY and send it to my editor, but only after I get my 1000 new words written and Skype with the awesome people of Westborough, MA.

If I haven't mentioned it before, PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ is part of an amazing project up in Westborough called Westborough Reads Together. The community is reading the book--adults and teens are reading together and having book discussions and other cool events related to the book--and I will be visiting in April to close out this amazing project.

When I see programs like this, run by dedicated and enthusiastic librarians, I get a huge feeling in my chest. Not because they're using my book, but because they have found a way to get their community to read together. That's pretty amazing, isn't it?

Photo thanks to Maureen!
So, for Valentine's Day, I want to send a blog valentine to the librarians in Westborough, MA. Anita and Maureen and everyone else who spent time organizing this event, the donors who have given, and the volunteers who have helped run the programs. Today's Skype will involve the superintendent of the school district, and that's just so important. Sometimes when I travel and meet librarians who invite me to their schools, the administration isn't part of the equation. Sometimes I'm told that administration isn't supportive because author visits "aren't part of the curriculum." In one school I visited, VERA DIETZ isn't allowed in the library because the principal went to one online site and read a twisted, inaccurate review and believed it, which was as far as he was willing to travel, even though the librarian had read the actual book and knew it was a book the students would love and discuss. So, this idea that a community that reads together will ultimately be stronger makes me nod aggressively. Yes. Yes. Yes.

A community that reads together will be stronger.

I know a lot of library systems around the country are struggling through budget cuts and scrambling to keep their doors open. As a reader, a library trustee, and an author, Westborough Reads Together has given me a real picture of what libraries can do to make stronger communities. Now, if we can remind people that reading is important...and that reading with kids, no matter what age, is the foundation of a community, we'll be on a winner.


Jonathon Arntson said...

This is so closely related to your volunteer post! I love the idea of a community read!

Matthew MacNish said...

Knowledge is the bane of fear. Spread it, librarians, spread it.

Anita Cellucci said...

Amy - Let me just say - YOU rock! The kids LOVED our skype today and we all are walking around with that feeling in our chest today! :)

A.S. King said...

Jonathan--this is the first time I've seen a community read and I have to say it's an awesome thing. To be a part of it? Is just so inspiring.

Amen, MM.

Anita, YOU ROCK. Thank you so much for everything. I'm having so much fun and that Skype today was so excellent. Great questions. Great comments. Great students. I could have stayed all day. :)

Hayley Lovell said...

I completely agree, I used to volunteer at the library in my home town, best volunteering experience in my life!