From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian

I can still remember Miss McCallum reading “Summer at Buckhorn” to our sixth grade class sometime during the 1969-70 school year. The title has stuck with me all these years yet I remember little about it, just that I really liked it. A quick search shows it was written by Anna Rose Wright and it’s not available to get via Inter-Library Loan. But I digress…

Probably every teacher at Lincoln School read to their class after lunch during my grade school career, likely as a way to calm down kids after our food and recess breaks. Often, it was the highlight of the school day—we weren’t doing math problems or science experiments, just soaking up the written word. The only thing better would have been reading the books myself.

Then we went on to junior high, where I rarely remember listening to a teacher read stories to the class. Apparently at some point, listening to stories lost its importance.

But I’ve come to believe that story times aren’t just for young children. Adults need a way to decompress from everyday life, to just sit and listen to someone share a tale or two. Listening requires a person to use his or her imagination, a tool we sometimes lose as we grow out of childhood.

Christmas traditions often revolve around families gathered around the tree while someone reads (or tells) familiar stories that everyone knows by heart, but all listen, enraptured by the meter of the words. Nostalgic childhood memories come rushing back as we sip hot chocolate and nibble on cookies as the words waft over us.

The library will recreate that feeling this Tuesday, December 6, at 2:00 p.m. with the library’s Fireside Tales program. Granted, it won’t be a real fireplace but there will be hot chocolate and cookies to go along with old tales and new told by master storytellers Susan Knell and Babs Tims. An afternoon of food, drink, and stories—what more could you ask for?

Trees! And not just any trees, but literary trees. Yes, the library’s display of decorated trees will be ready for you to tour after the program.

I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season (well, except for Saturday’s Kiwanis Pancake Feed) Fortunately, the two don’t conflict so you can take part in both. Which I intend to do and hope you’ll join me in the fun.