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Jun 26

My First Visit to a Public Library by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on June 26, 2020 at 1:57 PM by Genesis Gaule

I was 16 years old before I entered a public library.

jane eyre by bronte book-cover

My driving started early on the farm, but it didn’t translate into driving my own vehicle regularly until I left for college. Driving to town usually meant running an errand for my parents, like groceries or going to pick up an equipment part. Those errands never included the public library. In fact, I’m certain I never considered it until I couldn’t get a copy of Jane Eyre at the high school library.  

I didn’t regularly read classics as a teenager, but I was intrigued when a title was not included in our school library and my teachers and librarian would not help me get a copy. What was it all about? Why didn’t they want me to read it?

Curiosity is powerful. 

I walked up the front steps to our brick public library. Straight in from the front door, the circulation desk held court. Nervous, even though I spent a lot of time in our school library, I stood directly in front of the desk and waited for the librarian to address me--in a whisper.  

“May I have a copy of Jane Eyre?”  I asked.

“Do you have a library card?” She knew me as well as she knew everyone in our small town. I’d be willing to bet that she also knew the name on every single Library Card.

“No.” I was prepared to turn around and leave. I had no idea what I was supposed to do to gain the privilege only she could bestow on me.  

“Age.” That was meant as a question though it sounded like a condemnation.

“Sixteen.” She pulled out an application card and continued with the questions until she had filled it with her beautiful script. Without another word, she walked through the doors behind her and I listened intently to make sure she hadn’t abandoned me. On her return, she set the library’s copy of Jane Eyre on the counter, removed the card in its back pocket, wrote my name on it with a due date two weeks in the future and stamped the same date on the slip inside the back cover.  

She looked up at me and said, “As you can see this book has been well used. Be kind to it and I expect it back as you have received it.”  

I was afraid to pick it up. A rubberband held it together. Honestly, I had no intention of taking a deep breath while holding it certain that if it didn’t smell like a Great Uncle then my eyes deceived me. Decrepit, abused or much loved? I didn’t know the difference. I had a public library book. I had a library card!  

I read that book, gently turning each page, breathing shallowly and then returning it--early.

Jun 19

Why exactly is reading beneficial to me again? by Miranda Millette

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on June 19, 2020 at 3:00 PM by Genesis Gaule

I’m sure everyone has heard that reading is good for you at some point in your life. It’s common knowledge that reading is not usually every kid’s favorite interest compared to playing video games or spending time with friends. However, especially since you may be finding your family stuck at home with extra free time during this unusual summer, I encourage any parents to encourage your kid(s) to read. But why exactly is reading so beneficial for us? (besides it just being fun)

  1. Expands vocabulary
    I know that the essays of myself and my peers who love to read have included more complex and diverse word choice
  2. Learning new facts
    Reading the Percy Jackson books alone has made me a near expert on Greek mythology.
  3. Teaches rules of grammar
    Which is very important and needed in basic, everyday writing! Also, for those parents with high school students, the English section of the ACT mainly consists of grammar!
  4. Improves standardized test scores
    One of my teachers frequently reminded us that reading for only a half an hour a day will improve your ACT score, and I can speak for this.
  5. Increases creativity
    Because suddenly your child can visit dozens of fantasy worlds or far corners of the world from the comforts of your home
  6. Reduces stress
    Reading for 6 minutes can reduce stress by 60%! It may also reduce stress if you’re a parent because hopefully your child will be occupied for longer, and out of your hair, with reading!

Being a book fanatic myself, I know that the many stories I’ve read have taught me even more than and were not limited to the few benefits I listed above. My favorite part is experiencing the thrill of a new story and the emotions that the writing evokes.

For parents, try adding a half hour of reading right before your kid(s) bedtime (which will hopefully calm them down enough to go to sleep but may inadvertently lead to late night reading of their exciting book). And most of all, have fun with reading!

On average, readers have better physical health, empathy, and mental health. Reading for 6 minutes c