Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but here in the Children’s Department at Parkway Central, readers young and old keep spreading the word about their true love – books! Our once blank wall became a real conversation starter earlier this month with the simple writing prompt: What’s Your Favorite Book?
Cut-out hearts quickly filled up with handwritten titles for all ages – Green Eggs and Ham, The Fault in Our Stars, Are You My Mother?, Cosmos, Bad Kitty, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, and so much more. Our crafty Teen Leadership Assistants from the after-school LEAP program worked with Librarian Suzanna Urminska and Afterschool Leader Mary Sturdivant to create the interactive space. The teens even added an elegant green Very Hungry Caterpillar piece to the mix, a favorite title from their childhood.
In the library world, we usually call this passive programming. In practice, however, it seems hard to link the word “passive” to what our patrons engaged in. Even with the construction paper hearts no longer on display, families who participated continue to come in from the cold with vibrant recommendations and sincere questions about their favorite books: fiction and non-fiction, juvenile and adult. Real connections are made. This is lifelong learning, in action at the Free Library.