Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

a library newsletter, a compendium of interesting tidbits, a communication tool....from Bailey Library @ Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. (Site Feed)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Who's Reading Who...

April 12 is beloved children's author Beverly Cleary's 90th birthday... and has also been declared Drop Everything and Read Day. I would love to, thanks!

Beverly Cleary is the creator of the Ramona Quimby books, the Mouse and the Motorcycle, Dear Mr. Henshaw, and has been recognized by the Newbery many times over. Her children's books surprisingly stand the test of time. Cleary's autobiography, A Girl from Yamhill, was quite good. She is also a former children's librarian.

In a former incarnation as a middle school librarian, I was working with a gifted student and we created a project (perhaps not too inspired) where she contacted well-known people from all over the country and asked them "What are you reading?" We researched the addresses, enclosed a postcard for their reply, and received responses from presidents, business leaders, celebrities, astronauts, etc. Many wrote a letter to talk about a book that influenced them as children. (The student told me in later life that she had not really appreciated the scope of the project or the autographs she received until she was older.) We even appeared on a local radio show to talk about it. From Beverly Cleary, we received a two-word response... "my mail"... which I thought was terribly snarky at the time. Like my student, I have come to a later appreciation of the bulk of mail Ms. Cleary has to deal with daily and have decided to forgive her, now that she is 90. (insert smiley face here)

For a look at what the rich and famous are currently reading, take a look at this Washington Post article about librarian Glenna Nowell's annual "Who's Reading What?" survey results. Here at Slippery Rock, you will soon be seeing a home-grown version of the famous READ posters, featuring our own president, professors, deans, directors, and staff... a great project to mark National Library Week!


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