By Jan Pease
On Monday afternoons, Elle Dinius and I load up my car and drive south to bring a little bit of library to Cosmos, which is still without library service because of the terrible fire in February, 2011. We find ourselves in a large, empty room in South Elementary School, and prepare for two hours that go by faster than anyone could imagine.
We arrange the room to our liking, with tables and chairs, bean bags and a story rug. We try to bring activities that will interest children from toddlers through about grade 5. Elle displays books on some of the tables. Other books are in totes that we pull out and open.
I present a short story time. This week only the very youngest children came over. They weren’t much for singing or dancing, but they enjoyed the story, “Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer.” All of the children did the craft I planned for younger children, which was to make butterfly magnets out of clothespins and coffee filters. The butterflies and moths turned out very well.
The older children made night shirts, just like we did at the Litchfield, Dassel and Grove City kickoffs. Some of them were really pretty; some of them were almost too scary to sleep in. The theme for the older group was “Night Shivers,” so I read “The Wolves in the Walls,” by Neil Gaiman. We talked for a few minutes about what makes a book scary or not scary. They agreed with me that the story was funny and a little bit scary, but that the illustrations by Dave McKean are downright spooky.
Special guests are also involved with our little bit of library. Curtis Alan Hed performed on June 18th. The Wildlife Wizard and the Wonder Weavers are coming in July. We’re hoping for cooler weather than normal, because the room is not air conditioned.
The best part of our trip to Cosmos is watching “our” kids fill up their book bags with books to take home for the week. Our little library is on the honor system. We don’t know what we have in every tote, so new discoveries can be made each week. We don’t know what they take home, and we trust that the books will come back. They take home a full bag and bring back a full bag, so we know it’s working. It’s a little like the internet but with books.
Elle and I will be at the Cosmos little bit of library in South Elementary School every Monday from 4-6 p.m. through the end of July. We hope to have a summer reading party in the Cosmos park August 6 at about 5 p.m. to finish out a great summer.