6.05.2011

All Hail the Librarian and the Teacher!

That's right.

We had fainting goats and silly videos. We had announcements and updates and all that jazz. Now it is time to pay tribute to two of the greatest professionals in da woild!

The Librarian and the Teacher.

Did you feel that? Did your skin prickle? Mine did. Every time I talk with a librarian or a teacher I'm almost moved to tears. They are amazing. They work their knuckles to the bone to secure the future of books and reading. I've met many throughout my career. Yes, some of them fall in line with the stereotype. The grey bunned hair (bunned is not a word librarians, I know this.) Bespectacled. Ornery. Addicted to silence, with index finger permanently pressed against pursed lips (check out that alliteration, teachers. Booyah!)

But most of the librarians and teachers I've met wander inconspicuously among us. Observing. Calculating their next move to ensure our youth develop a burning love of mind-expansion. They deserve our praise. Our money. And in the very least, our attention. They know which books matter. They know it is not only all about the classics in literature or the controversial pieces that make a difference. They know sometimes a good book requires a little flatulence, a little tomfoolery, a little talking cockroaches. Yes, they know. Because if a doubting child can somehow pull through to the end of a book and feel that amazing sense of accomplishment, something ignites within them. So the librarians and the teachers endure the lows of book recommendations not containing the words "Ere" and "Yore" from time to time.

In my writing world, the librarians and teachers reign supreme. They make all the difference. They are the Mrs. LaDukes and the Mrs. Bennetts and the Mrs. Paschals and the Mrs. Haymonds. They are the Mrs. Nociforas and the Mrs. Nguyens and the Mrs. Perrys. They are so many and yet so few. Whoa now, we just got deep. Philosophical even.

So, in tribute to some of the greatest beings on this planet, I give you a contest. All you have to do to enter is make a comment showing your praise for the librarians and teachers of the world. That's it. Comment as many times as you like with as many pearls of praise as you desire. I'll hold a drawing in one week from today and randomly select one of the commenters to win a signed copy of the NYTimes Bestseller, Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White.




Even if you don't want to win this fabulous prize, you should still shower some kind words to those who quietly mold the future of our kids.

13 comments:

Diana said...

Great contest! I remember my elementary school librarian, she was great! Wednesday was my favorite day of the week because of her -that was our was library day. She would assign us cool projects and read to us and teach us really interesting things. i even won a writing contest once and she took me out to lunch and bought me a book!

- jeana said...

i AM an elementary school librarian! i have to say, it is HANDS DOWN, THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD! did it seem like i was screaming that, because I WAS!! =) seriously now, it's the best. i love helping those who think they don't like to read, find just the right book, and watching their eyes light up when they tell me they actually finished it!

did i mention that i have the best job in the world??

Frank Cole said...

Jeana! I knew I had forgotten somebody! I'm putting you in. Look for the edit.

Tara Ware said...

Mrs Williams from Saint Agatha Academy and Miss Ann from the Clark County Public Library. You ladies are simply the BEST! You have inspired my children to read...and ENJOY it! You both are greatly missed but much appreciated!

Reader Riah said...

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret I bet you didn't know about me... I'm actually in a graduate program right now to become a librarian! I love them! I love books too, which is why I presently work in this field. But one day I'll be a librarian addicted to silence, though I doubt I'll have my hair "bunned".

Also, I've been wanting to read this book for a while. :)

A.J. Dub. said...

My mom was a librarian in the town where I grew up, and in High School I got to work in the school library. It was awesome. Quiet, but awesome. And that was thanks to the librarian who was my former (favorite) English teacher. She was the one who let me read whatever, whenever in her class. :) Can't beat that!

A.J. Dub. said...

My kids' elementary school librarian started a summer reading book swap at the end of the year and I thought it was brilliant!

A.J. Dub. said...

Miss May was one of my all time favorite teachers in elementary school. I still see her occasionally, when I visit home and she always mentions the time we dissected owl pellets and I totally grossed out. (She has the vhs to prove it.) She was/is a very talented teacher who really knew how to reach every kid in some way or another.

Melissa Lemon said...

I had a German teacher who for some reason insisted we learned how to use the internet. Ya know, back when it was new. Strange for a German teacher, but that has been one of the most influencial things in my careers and I'm glad he saw to it. He must have known how big it was going to be.

snlim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
snlim said...

Frank,
I love that you mentioned Mrs. La Duke. I have taught 4th grade with her for two years now and am saddened that she will be in a different grade level next school year. I have learned so much from her and I'm only realizing now that I've never told her that. She doesn't "specialize" in a subject area- she's continuously working in all subjects. She doesn't ever let herself feel 'comfortable' - she's always finding more and doing more (even though I think she's already awesome).

I'm glad for all she's shared with me- including when she asked me if I'd ever heard of Hashbrown Winters.

Plus she's a fellow Texan.. and she always laughs at my jokes about being Asian :)

snlim/Ms. Lim

Kate said...

Mrs. Greene, my fifth grade teacher always read to us, but what I remember mot was her telling us about books she was reading at home. For fun.

Kate said...

The school librarians in our area are great, but I LOVE our public library librarians. They know each of my children and recommend books for them and me. If I ask if they have a particular title I can't find, it gets ordered and they call me to let me be the first to check it out when it arrives. They are so good to me and my family.

I mentioned to a library board member last year that I took my daughter to buy 10 new books for the summer because our library didn't have any more early chapter books about animals and that's all she would read. Guess what they've stocked this year. My daughter comes home with a new animal book every week.

As you can see, they sort of spoil me.