|Photo by Emily Sibbet via Flickr|
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:
- I rarely go to the library without a list of books that have been recommended to me or titles I know.
- Friends, colleagues, and students recommend titles and authors they love.
- I find new picture books for my classroom following blogs like Katie DiCesare's: Creative Literacy, Mary Lee Hahn & Franki Sibberson's: A Year of Reading, Karen Terlecky & Bill Prosser's: Literate Lives, Mandy Robek's: Enjoy and Embrace Learning, Danielle Smith's: There's A Book.
- I discover many new titles on Twitter from colleagues like @MrSchuReads @LiteracyDocent @MentorTexts @jmalphy @alybee930 @lorilovesbooks.
- Amazon thinks it knows me.....and it works sometimes.
- Booktrailers catch my attention and make me want to find out more about a book.
- Authors' websites and tweets often guide me to their latest releases or previous books I have not discovered.
- ChoiceLiteracy articles send me searching for particular titles.
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.