April 27, 2016

A Wonderful Day

WOW! What a wonderful week it was.

A few weeks ago I received a call telling me that I was being awarded the Evelyn Sibley Lampman award for my years as a school librarian. I was about to race out and do cartwheels in the hall (unfortunately I really can’t) or at least knock on my neighbors’ doors and scream loudly! Fortunately for them, the next call said I could tell my family but no one else, especially anyone who had any relationship with libraries. That one phrase wiped out about 80% of my friends.

So I kept quiet. Not easy for me. Especially when I have GOOD news to share. (Bad news is something else.) I did keep busy rereading some of Lampman’s books, and was pleasantly surprised to find how she was able to hook me into the story in the first chapter. Good writing. And they were surprisingly up to date for the most part, although The Shy Stegosaurus of Indian Springs seemed like a book set in the last century. Well, come to think of it, it was! However, children still love dinosaurs. The portrayal of a Rogue River Indian boy captured by another tribe, and of Yolanda, a migrant girl whose schooling was constantly hampered by the family travels during growing seasons, are both heroes that anyone—even grown-ups--can understand. I wish someone would reissue the books with modern covers and use the set when fourth graders study Oregon.

Then last Thursday some of my family and friends took me to the Oregon Library Association conference in Bend, Oregon where I received this lovely plaque. I am mentally walking on air-- and only wish I was literally doing so! I am also telling everyone I can to make up for my previous silence. Anyway, it is VERY nice to be thanked for working in some wonderful schools with terrific students, many of whom I now follow on Facebook.

I was told the main reason I received the award was for bringing Battle of the Books to my small school in tiny Glide. It was picked up in nearby Roseburg and has now become the statewide OBOB. Strictly volunteer, it has remained popular, even with all the cuts in school programs over the last score of years. One librarian referred to those who take part as “academic athletes,” who learn to work together in the schoolroom, as others do on the playing fields.

The library and teaching communities are team players above all, sharing ideas, tips, and inspirations. None of us can do it alone. I am really honored by the list of all the people who received the Lampman award before me, including both Walt Morey and Eric Kimmel who actually cared enough about kids and reading to make author appearances in Glide...a far piece from Portland. It’s a terrific list of people.

I am lucky. Thank you all.