Yesterday, I had a wonderful opportunity to speak before the Suffolk County School Library Media Association (SSMLA) at their annual dinner. This talk before a smart, high-spirited group of school librarians, game me the chance to remember my high school school library at–New Rochelle High School.
My school library was a refuge for a geeky kid who liked to read – who was involved in her school’s literary magazine – and not much else – I was raised by a single parent, a father, who raised 4 kids along after my mother had a stroke and was left almost fully paralyzed and brain-damaged. We couldn’t afford to buy books in our house – but we didn’t need to buy them. There was the library, especially the school library.
You could find me there almost everyday after school. I didn’t want to go home. Home was chaotic. Home was loud. Home was where I, as the eldest daughter had to cook dinner and clean and do laundry and not stop until everyone was in bed and then, maybe I could escape and read more.
I have to admit that I don’t remember the librarians’ names – but I remember their kindness. I remember how they smiled when I checked out every novel by Ernest Hemingway after I read The Sun Also Rises in 10 grade English class.
One thing I do remember -- one stifling spring day, my study partner, David, leaned over to me and said, "I like you more than you think." But that’s a story for outside the library.
If you are a librarian or an educator, I've done something thinking about the Common Core for ELA Grades 8-12 and my young adult novel, LIE. I would appreciate your thoughts on my study notes -- at my website www.carolinebock.com.
And thank you school librarians, you should be mandated for every school, you are critical to our students success!