I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside of you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It’s hollow.
E.L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
So number one, Reading Rainbow was not cancelled because it was not effective. Reading Rainbow was the most used television resource in our nation’s classroom. In 2009, it was [cancelled] due to No Child Left Behind. That government policy made a choice between teaching the rudiments of reading and fostering a love of reading. So the idea that I am trying to somehow revive a failed endeavor is bullshit. That’s right. I said it. Bullshit.
A library should be a way for a child—for anybody—to get the sort of reading that he or she wants, and hopefully that will benefit them. Not all stories in comic books are great; some may seem silly or ridiculous or a waste of time. But the youngster has to be able to read the book. And for that reason, comic books should be in every library.
It’s okay if you don’t like vampire novels. Or dystopians. And it’s okay that other people do. Let’s not disparage the interests of others, it makes the world a better place.
We need diverse books because we need books & media to give every reader & watcher & listener who walks in to my library mirrors & windows to see themselves and to see the diversity of the world around them.
And, from what was on our shelves (from top to bottom, left to right):
Those are just a few titles to try — but we need more. Many more. Too many to count.
(Please excuse the halo of light — it’s just the windows, really.)