I have always loved to read. One of my childhood favorites was Charlotte’s Web; I remember so vividly stifling the tears as we read it aloud in Primary school. We shared a collective feeling of sadness, to be repeated as I learned Lennie’s fate in Of Mice and Men and experienced profoundly when Gatsby failed to realize his dream when I was 16. I laughed with Bridget Jones, felt inspired by Atticus and recognized the truth in Animal Farm. In short, books allow us to indulge in many emotions with our protagonists and when we find someone who shares our love of the same book - well, it’s a friendship made to last.
When I had children, I couldn’t wait to introduce to them the stories and characters that I had loved. For my son, David Walliams’ irreverent but honest novels, replaced Roald Dahl. His touching portrayal of often sad, isolated characters managed to find the humor and warmth of their story in the same way the Dahl had done for Mr. Wonka. Suzanne Collins was another favorite; engaging tweens in a more mature way. Exploring the dangerous, combative worlds of The Hunger Games and The Underland Chronicles charmed him in a way the innocence of The Hardy Boys never could. And of course, Harry Potter. I remember the first time I read this with my Year 7 class. It was truly magical. I had never experienced the need to “read on” in a classroom as vividly as I did when reading The Philosopher’s Stone in its first year.
Meanwhile, my daughter, inspired by strong women in sport, politics, and science, has found motivation in the Kickstarter anthology of female stories, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. She loves fiction too, but this new type of story, that shares previously untold narratives from quieter voices, is a wonderful example of how powerful books can be to our children. So, as a newly appointed school librarian, where do I begin to organize and encourage students to enjoy the library space and fall in love with reading?
For me, there is no such thing as a child who “doesn’t like to read”; there are only children who have not yet found the right book. And that is where I see the role of the librarian: helping children to find the book that speaks to them. We will not only make the library space interesting, vibrant, social and collaborative but also, we will focus on different members of our school community and what books they love to read. We will celebrate children as authors and work on creative writing as well as spotlighting different genres and alternative ways to access literature.
The Learning Hub aims to be a place where teachers and pupils will gather to share ideas, resources, and creativity. We look forward to sharing our stories with you on Instagram and through library blogs. Follow our journey to learn about the library and the magic it holds inside.