Wednesday, May 28, 2008

School's Out - Yeah! or Hey?

Oh, it is hard to believe, but our school district’s traditional calendar schools ended today. Although I haven’t worked in the local elementary school library since the 2003 school year this day always brings back memories for me. One of the hardest things I found as part of my library work was collecting books back from all the kids. Taking back books rather then checking them out seemed like such an anti-librarian thing to do.

At one time our school was located next to the local branch library then the school was rebuilt down the road a bit. There were times I would see some of the students at the branch, but unfortunately most of the 700 or so students did not visit the library for one reason or another. I also knew many of the students didn’t have books at home and only read at school. For many of the students the last week of school would be the final time they would see a book until the next school year.

So on the last day of school, for me it was really doing lots of cleaning up, inventory, and so forth. As the doors would close behind me and lights went out, it really saddened me to know that those magnificent books would remain on the shelves until a summer school session and then only read, not checked out by the visiting students for a few weeks until August came around. I would have such great memories of working with the students all year, learning their favorite reads, helping open up a mind to different works, watching a student blossom with their research, and so forth. But on that last day, the kids rejoiced for a break, yet the books looked lonely without a child’s hand wrapped around them.