Today is election day. After yet another almost unbearably intense election season in Alaskan and national politics, I awoke this morning with some trepidation, worrying about the outcome. Then I checked my e-mail. Waiting was a message from a friend saying, Who should I write the check to for your school library?
Those are mood-changing words for any librarian, but especially for librarians in underfunded school libraries. These days, with tight school budgets and so much money going into testing and technology, books are not always the top priority that they should be if we truly want kids to read. My friend understands that. She is a runner who, with the help of just one other person, over the past two years has organized a series of fun-runs in our little community. She uses the proceeds from those runs to help out her favorite community groups. The school library where I work is one of them.
The check isn't huge -- it's a small run in a small community -- but it's significant. It will buy books the kids want to read. Maybe equally as important, it sends a message: your community understands that reading and books matter. Your community cares.
However the elections turn out today, might I suggest: do something positive for literacy, for children, for libraries. You'll feel good about it and you'll probably make someone's day.