1. Children don't need expensive toys, fancy clothes, or fantastic vacations to make them proud or happy. Sometimes they just want to pick out their own book. And then hand it to you over the counter and TELL you that they've picked it out. All by themselves.
2. Children want to do what their parents do. They want to put the book on the self-check machine just like Mom. They will take the CD case and put it in the de-magnetizer (to take the outer security case off) even though Dad has already taken the security case off. They want to check out their books on their OWN library card.
3. Kids pay attention to what their friends are reading. Or their older siblings. Just like adults, they will read a book if someone recommends it to them.
4. Kids like to research things about their world as it relates to them. And they also like sharing how much they know.
5. If you compliment a child on their choice in movies, books, or even on their dinosaur pajamas, they will most likely start talking to you and tell you WHY they chose their particular movie, book or dinosaur pajamas.
6. Kids like a good story. And they like to be read to. Sometimes they will beg mom or grandpa or whoever they are with to sit down on the bench and just start reading.
7. You can get fancy and try to impress 8 and 9 year old boys with what goes on "behind the scenes" at the library, but at the end of the day, they are more impressed with watching the books come down the book drop than listening to how a returned item is processed to go back out on the shelves.
This list is by no means comprehensive. And what it says about our culture, society, or the state of our youth today--well, it probably doesn't say much. And maybe these things are all obvious to all the seasoned parents out there. I'm not quite there yet, but hopefully I will be someday. And what I've learned about adults is mostly less happy, less colorful, and more impatient (and yes, adults WILL moan and groan and argue about paying a $0.15 overdue fine), and that's an entirely different post altogether. All I know is that watching the children at the library is probably one of the best parts of working there.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
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