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Dear All,
This week, when deciding on a focus for my 1st Grade classes, I gathered together I 
Can Read Books and other
books with a controlled vocabulary designating them as Easy Reader.  I sat down in 
the rocking chair to read a few. Several students and a teacher or two came in and 
saw me laughing as I skimmed some old classics like Mouse Tales and Mouse Soup by 
Arnold Lobel.  I then found Bootsie Barker Ballerina and knew that the 1st Graders 
would enjoy hearing that in my introduction to Easy Readers.  

I do that now because I've discovered that 1st graders don't always have any help 
with making choices of reading materials.  Students need to try different types of 
books.  I remind them that next week will be EASY, EASY READER OR NONFICTION if I 
have resistance.  I've had students resist reading an Easy Reader and then see 
another student enjoying one and change their mind.  Student reviews are best.

My staff and students react  positively to seeing me reading.  I do think that a 
bit of reading, a few minutes here and there is part of what being a school 
librarian/media specialist is all about.  

I am always a Book character or a Book on Halloween.  This year I was GO AWAY, BIG 
GREEN MONSTER by Ed Emberely and my mask was the monster's face peeking over the 
book.  Reading is what we are all about!!!!

I do agree fully with the comment about not wishing to interrupt a Reference 
Librarian if they are reading. I still find myself feeling hesitant to bother a 
Reference Librarian in a public library who is not showing any signs of inviting
inquiry. (I wonder to myself if that person has become jaded or if they are just an 
introvert.)  I was a Public Reference Librarian years ago and always made sure that 
I was aware if anyone came to the desk so that I could be welcoming, not reading. 
The same was true when doing Reference evenings and Saturdays as a Public 
Children's Librarian.  It's our job to welcome inquiry.  At that time in my career 
there was a slogan something like BOTHER ME, I'M A LIBRARIAN.  

On Friday afternoon before I had a 2nd and 3rd grade come in for book selection, I 
whisked myself around the stacks and stood up lots of great books that I thought 
the students might enjoy.  A third grader came up to check out  The Doll People and 
The Meanest Doll in the World.  I said to her that she really needs to read The 
Doll People first.  She and her friend were very impressed that I had read both 
books.  By the way, I think that either book would make a fabulous movie. 

Susan Rardin, MLS
Cliffwood Elementary Library
Cliffwood, NJ 

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