Field Trip to the Library!
By Jennifer Wolfe
My favorite day of the year at the Athens State University Library is field trip day. Let me explain…
As a child one of my favorite things to do in the summer was to go to the Knox County Public Library’s Norwood Branch on Merchant Dr. in Knoxville, Tennessee for the summer reading program. This should have been my first clue to my future profession – a librarian.
One of my proudest moments as a mom/librarian was to enroll my daughter in the storytime program just down the street at the Athens-Limestone Public Library in Athens, Alabama and to be able to attend her graduation from the Bookworms. Of course, my little girl is happily enrolled in their 2014 summer reading program, “Fizz, Boom, Read.” The storytime librarian, Ms. Kelli, is a hero around our house. In my daughter’s eyes, all of Ms. Kelli’s books are must reads, all of her songs are at the top of the charts, and all of her crafts are the craftiest. (Ms. Kelli is an Athens State University alumna. She is definitely the best librarian!)
Did you know that Athens State University Library’s juvenile collection is the busiest most checked out area in our library? On a university campus, though? It’s easy to explain…. We have a lot of College of Education majors who incorporate children’s literature into all of their courses. And unlike some other university libraries, we allow community members to purchase a library card, as well.
For several years now, the First Baptist Church Weekday Early Education (WEE) Preschoolers have been coming to our Library for a fieldtrip. It’s always my favorite day of the year. Our juvenile collection/children’s area is filled with actual children! Imagine that! Because I’m currently the only librarian on campus with preschoolers at home, well, naturally, I’ve been invited to help when we’re being invaded.
It is very exciting/intimidating to be the storytime librarian for a day. Ms. Kelli does this every day at Athens-Limestone Public Library. And she makes it look so fabulous and easy! It’s tough work, though…lots of prep beforehand and lots of energy during. But it’s certainly worth it. The kids don’t forget. When I’ve seen some of them around town, a few have run up and said, “Hi, Jennifer! I remember you from the Library!”
When people find out that I am a librarian, the most common question/comment is: “It must be nice to be able to read all day?” That’s kind of comical to me. I think people might imagine the shushing lady peering at you over her half eyeglasses with the bun hairdo seated behind the desk reading a scandalous romance novel, or something? I always reply, “I get to touch lots of books all day long. I don’t get to read them though.” But that’s not quite true…
One day of the year, I get to read them! Field trip day! I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my WEE field trip friends to roll around again!