For those who have never been a part, a library culling can be incredibly depressing. To porose through the stacks and find the books that are rarely used, makes you wonder what could possibly be read if not these books. Classics and reference. Coffee table books full of gorgeous photography and modern pop fiction. Then the anthologies of knowledge and the collection of series. Books begin to flood back to memory from days past and moments that were lost to other times. All of this because modern libraries are changing into digital media centers. A place for guided personal research, but overly anesthetized by the loss of cellulose. Can a library truly be a library without paper books? At what point does a media center become a fancy internet cafe?
I’ve watched this past week as many of the books have been removed from our school’s library in the name of progress. I’ve captured the few that I know and love before they left. Yet, I find myself trying to rebuild a bookshelf to my academic heritage. A collection of the great works that makes up the heritage of my classroom. As the piles co-mingle an odd arrangement of honorary happiness piles from one bibliophile to another. Vietnam War anthologies next to an illustrated Bram Stoker. John Milton, John Calvin, and Billy Graham next to Ken Follett and Sinclar Lewis. Daphne Du Maurier spoke to me and coaxed forth the remembrance of the wickedly troubling Rebecca from my youth summer reading. As we gorged or eyes on a great feast of novels, histories, scientific discoveries and childhood fantasies, we shared together the books we loved and wanted others to share.
I broke my personal rule and took copies of novels I already owned or had passed forward through the long chain of used book stores. However, these are for me, my classroom, and my future students to share. A collection of resources is also a grouping of shared knowledge and treasured memories.
Of course the journey never ends for these books.
Thank you Mrs. Lemon for sharing with us.