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Dec 04

Reading Goals vs. The Pandemic by Andrea Lorenz

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on December 4, 2020 at 2:38 PM by Genesis Gaule

One thing I (usually) love to talk about this time of year is reading goals. I usually set very ambitious reading goals for myself every year, like I want to read 100 books before the end of the year (no, picture books don’t count) or I will read a book from every section of the library or I’m going to read 50% more BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) authors. I started 2020 with good intentions, buuuuuuuuuuuuuut the pandemic totally changed my reading this year.

I don’t know about you, but before 2020 I would look at all the unread books on my shelves and think, “If there ever was a disaster and I got stuck at home for a long time, I’d be set. I would get so much reading done.” I was wrong.

When we hit lockdown in March, all I wanted to read was science fiction and romance novels. And then in April, all I wanted to do was play Stardew Valley and go for long brooding walks. In May, I would open up Goodreads and look sadly at the Reading Challenge badge to see just how many books behind I was. My mind wasn’t working the same way it did in before-times. I had trouble focusing and nothing really seemed interesting any more. I’d pick a book up, read 20 pages, and put it back down.

I have gotten back into reading, though slowly and not in directions I imagined. Instead of reading hard-hitting literary fiction, I’ve found solace in re-reading beloved books from my childhood and adolescence. Instead of exploring new topics and genres, I’ve stuck to my comfort zones – science fiction and romance novels (with a whole lot of comics thrown in). And that’s okay. I’m sure as the world settles into a new normal, my reading will become more adventurous again, but for 2021, my reading goals will be flexible and geared toward comfort.
Nov 06

Heroes Old and New! by Cody Rasmussen

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on November 6, 2020 at 1:38 PM by Genesis Gaule

Look up in the sky. What do you see flying, could it be a bird, maybe even a plane? Or is it one of our superheroes.

In this modern world that we live in, superheroes are seen as people (or aliens) in costume, defending the common folk from the “forces of evil.” Every time we turn on the television there is another show or movie that has some form of superhero in it. We have become addicted to seeing them because the idea of a modern day superhero saving the day appeals to us. We want someone to rescue us, and as a result of that so many superheroes have been born.

The Justice League from the DC universe.


The Avengers and Fantastic Four from Marvel.


There are so many that have been created; yet before the heroes in spandex and masks, there were others.

Heroes from myths and legends, all around the world. Epics and songs dedicated to their deeds, both good and bad. Born descendants of gods, or blessed by beings of great power, they were the basis of why we became so dedicated to keeping the idea of heroes alive.

Heroes like the:

  • Mahabharata’s heroes, Karna son of Surya and Arjuna spiritual son of Indra.
  • The Greek heroes of the Iliad, such as Achilles, son of Thetis, and King Odysseus of Ithaca.
  • King Gilgamesh of Uruk.
  • The legendary King Arthur of Britain and his Knights of the Round Table.

Heroes are those who are looked up to for their courageous acts or their character. They are role models for those that learn about them, learning from their good deeds, as well as their mistakes. Without heroes our culture would be very different than it is today.

Oct 30

Reading in a Circle by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on October 30, 2020 at 4:08 PM by Genesis Gaule

I’ve taught at the middle school and high school levels. There were many things for me to learn while I taught that I have taken into the Library world. One of my favorites is learning how to read in a circle.  

During a parent-teacher conference, a mother shared how her daughter had learned to read in a circle. I was far too curious to let that comment go without investigation. “How did she do that?” I asked.

“When my daughter realized she could read a few words, she didn’t want to put a book down.  She started by sitting on the couch with a book in hand.  Soon one leg and then the other was over the arm of the couch. As she read, she lay down full length on the couch. Her legs would make their way to the back of the couch and her head would hang down off the seat cushion. Yes, upside down. As the words rolled on, the legs would come down to the seat and her head was on the arm and round and round she’d go. She’d work very hard to read each new word. The book was never far from her eyes.”  

I loved hearing the story as much as she enjoyed sharing it.  

Do you remember learning to read? For many it is exciting to realize those marks on a page add up to words, thoughts and stories. For many, it was a struggle and never got any easier.  Then there is everyone in between.  

When I taught high school, a young man struggled as a Junior to read. He was certain that he didn’t need to read to be a mechanic. We ordered mechanics magazines for him and he read part of them every week for his assignments. He wrote paragraphs to explain what he’d read.  He found the value in reading. This young man will probably never read a novel, but I wouldn’t hesitate to take my car to him.       

In the home where I grew up, we had magazines and newspapers, no children’s books. There were cereal boxes, recipes and game instructions. I used them all to start reading before kindergarten. I’d read the city and directional signs when our family took road trips.    

I remember the day that I cleaned the dust from our tractor and rewrote the words I found there--John Deere. Words were everywhere! I still want to put that e on the end of deer even if I’m referring to one with four legs.  

I don’t remember ever reading in a circle and no matter how many car magazines I read, I’ll never be able to fix my car. What I do know is that words are everywhere and being able to read them is a real advantage!