Monday, July 1, 2013

Library dream

Author and journalist Anjali Enjeti has a series of summer writing prompts geared toward encouraging kids to write. I find that adults can use them, too. This is where today's post comes from.
If you were a librarian, what types of books would you purchase for the library and why? What kinds of books do you think kids need to read more of?
I love this. As soon as I read the post my mind was imagining all the possibilities. First, though, I'd probably anger some library purists: I'd ditch the Dewey Decimal System and arrange the books more like a bookstore. I don't like all fiction shelved together - sometimes I want classics, sometimes I want brain candy, sometimes a mystery, but I don't want to search through all of them every time.

Here is my must-have list for a library, though:

First, I'd have a widely varied children's section. Infant and toddler books, preschoolers, elementary schoolers, and older kids would have their own sections. I would include books from many countries and cultures. Kids of all ages could learn about life all around the planet and across our country.  There would be books about animals and dinosaurs and plants and space. There would be long-established classics and new classics. There would be cozy reading nooks and storytime. 

My library would have a huge reference section with various dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias to expand vocabularies and minds. The religion section would have texts from all the major religions of the world so patrons could read for themselves and find their own truths. I'd host lectures by different religious leaders in the community to discuss the texts. There would be newspapers from the community, the state, the nation's major cities, and major newspapers from around the world. Everyone, but especially the children, need to know that we are not isolated, and know about events happening across the globe.

Nonfiction would be fun, and not just boring dusty shelves of travel guides and cookbooks. Shelves will be filled with biographies from influential people. People in the news and people in our history. Political leaders, religious leaders, activists, and pacifists from different eras and places. The travel guides would still be there, along with a huge map of the planet so readers could see exactly where they are reading about and how the location relates to us. Cookbooks would cover many cuisines. There would be sections for all kinds of improvement and interests.

And fiction - fiction would be an oasis. A place to escape, to learn through stories, to awaken your dreams. Classics. Mysteries. Westerns. Chick lit. Romance. Adventures. Stories of strong women and strong men. If the nonfiction section teaches you how to achieve your dreams, the fiction section breathes your dreams into existence.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! How fantastic! When will you build it? I'd love to visit! ;)