I’m doing my best to visit a library in each state and talk with a librarian, preferably a children’s librarian. This is one area of my trip that is a work in progress. I haven’t quite nailed down the purpose of the visit beyond a box checking exercise and my own desire to peruse libraries. I hope to hone my purpose as my travels continue.
Libraries cull through their collections regularly and books that haven’t been checked out for five years are given away. That activity was in process when I visited the Bayard Taylor Library in Kennett Square, PA. I was surprised to find titles in the discard pile that included some of my favorite children’s literature authors(Mildred Taylor, Dick King-Smith, Cynthia Rylant). Although I was the only patron in the section during my visit, the librarian did tell me that story time earlier in the morning had been packed and the focus of the session was on bullying, a hot button topic. One of the picture books he was reading to the kids was, The Little Bully, by Beth Bracken.
My visit at the Newark Free Library was stopped before it started as it’s closed on Thursdays. On Saturday, I tried again in Delaware at the Bridgeville Public Library. What an inviting children’s section, with a mural of the local area and another mural of children’s books that included the names of local kids; potential future authors. Maryland’s Havre de Grace library, similar to other libraries that I have encountered, is offering a program for children to read to Karma dogs. This is a popular program.
The Chesapeake City library is a beautiful facility and was full of activity on the rainy Sunday I visited. The children’s librarian offered up the suggestion of a post-Korean War book set just a few miles away in Willoughby Spit. She didn’t have much time for a chat as there was a line of folks waiting for her assistance.
The Lobeco Library, a little white building hidden under the hanging moss off the state road going into Beaufort, SC was busy with patrons when I pulled into its gravel parking lot. I could have whiled away the morning with the friendly librarian, discussing local books, library programs and the changing use of libraries.