Thursday, June 16, 2011

Library Picture Book Searches: A Lost Art?

Everybody Books
Photo by Emily Sibbet via Flickr
Sometimes it just hits me how much my world has changed in the last few years.  This week I was preparing for a couple of sessions I was leading with Deb Frazier in our district's Summer Academy.  Looking at the list of participants I realized I needed a few more intermediate books for our audience.  Though I had quite a collection of picture books, I decided to stop by our local library to browse for a few new titles.

My time was limited so I quickly headed to the children's section of the library and started to look for picture books for intermediate teachers to use in their classrooms.  I looked.  And I looked.  And I read.  And I searched.  It was then that I realized how much my ways for discovering picture books had changed in the last few years.  It seemed I had forgotten how to search for books on rows of shelves with tightly packed - spine out - books.  Could it be that shelf searching has become a lost art?

How book searching has changed for me:

Standing in the library, looking around at the shelves of books shoved tightly together, I realized how much I have changed the way I find books.  Make no mistake, this is not a post to say we no longer need libraries.  I believe quite the opposite is true, and have campaigned to help restore funding in Ohio.  I love my library (libraries!).  I frequent the library often --- actually I frequent three libraries, but rarely do I sit among the shelves for hours to look for books.  Usually I find books online, place them in my library bookbag, and stop by to pick them up when they are available.  

Though I have fond memories of sitting in libraries among the shelves of picture books, I love the way I find books now.  It occurs to me that I am fortunate to have a grown a large community of readers who love to talk about books.  I'm thinking this is a change for the better.  

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing when you think about it. I agree -- searching for books at the library has changed. I do the same thing: search online, seek out suggestions, place book titles on my Amazon wish list, request it online at the library, and go pick them up! Maybe if we did spend an hour or two a week at the library, we would find some old and new favorites. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some new resources to find books. I've bookmarked the authors' website - that's awesome with all the sites on one site!