Friday, October 19, 2012

School Libraries and The Bookmobile

The first school I attended was Epping Public School. The two-story brick building was a beauty with it's antique, wooden stair cases, large windows and little nooks and crannies everywhere.

Epping Public School had a library full of very old books.  I would love to travel back in time to check some of them out. I'm sure there were some treasures, but when you are in lower elementary, you don't care about such things as antique books.  The elementary students didn't use it as a library....instead, it was our elementary music room.
What we did have was...The Bookmobile!!

Oh how I loved the bookmobile!  Getting to visit the bookmobile ranked right up there with field trips, art projects on Friday and the day the book orders came in.  My whole class would sit in anticipation, waiting for the time to come for it to be our turn to go.  We would walk single file out to the little camper full of books and we'd climb the narrow metal stairs that would lead us inside.  Sometimes, if it was really cold, we'd have to wear our coats.
Only a few of us could go in at a time and we had to make our selections quickly in order for others to have their turn. 
The same fellow always drove our bookmobile (which came out of Williston) and to this day I can still picture him. (I think he also kept beehives).
I love the photo above! That is the Ward County Bookmobile visiting the Foxholm school back in 1961. What a beautiful school! I found the photo on this site. It's an interesting article.

The inside of our bookmobile looked similar to this one.
Photo by Bill Shemorry and Digital Horizons.
The Ward County Public Bookmobile today, that serves surrounding Minot.

In 1986, after my 5th grade year of elementary school, Epping School closed it's doors. It was torn down soon after that. 
Once the Epping school was gone, we Epping kids hopped onto a school bus every morning and rode the 12 miles to Ray Public School in Ray ND. Ray School had a real library, and a real librarian who wore pretty dresses and big, beautiful earrings. Being long past the "story time" age, I only remember doing a few worksheets pertaining to the Dewey Decimal System, and then being allowed to check out books. It seemed to be a big deal to my classmates that now, as big-shot 6th graders, we were allowed to chose high school-type romance novels from spinning wire racks. I look back on those teen romances and wrinkle my nose at them...because now I know better.   I suppose there IS a place for such literature...but they were just   I checked out a lot of Judy Blume books and Beverly Cleary.  And I remember reading a pretty good book called Hangin' Out With Ce Ce about a girl who goes back in time and meets her mother as a teenager (in the 40's or 50's).  But don't recall ever seeing or hearing about books like Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden?   Where were the Little House Books and the last few Betsy-Tacy books?   I'm sure they were there, but I suppose those "oldies-but-goodies" were so uncool that being seen with one of them would've been social suicide. So instead I followed the crowd to the wobbly wire rack and chose books I was not ready for, maturity wise.

Thank goodness for my mother, the English major and my father the music major. Our parents read to us and provided us with excellent books growing up. My mother tried so hard to get me to read To Kill a Mocking Bird.  Sorry, Ma, I never did finish it.  (Now my phone will ring in 3..2..1..)

Our teachers read to us.  Books like Summer of the Monkeys, Where the Red Fern Grows, Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, The Red Badge of Courage, Johnny Tremain and many others.

It was during high school that I discovered my love for children's books.  Most of the thanks goes to my mother for providing me with such an excellent children's book collection growing up.  But I do give thanks to my high school English teacher, Mrs. Skogen, as well.
But more on that tomorrow!

Have a Happy Day!

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