Americans still enjoy the turning of pages within a book. Creatures of habit, books have been around as a means of preserving the written word since man began to make paper from papyrus and trees. The word “book” is actually rooted in the word “beech” as in the beech tree. In 2012, about seven in ten Americans reported reading a book in print. (“Though e-books are rising in popularity, print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits. Most people who read e-books also read print books, and just 4% of readers are ‘e-book only.’”) Pew Internet
Books are valued so highly that they began to be held collectively in private libraries around 1200 BCE in Syria.
As literacy became widespread public libraries came into availability.
There are approximately 119,987 libraries of all kinds in the United States today.
Librarian Becky Daughtry has worked in both public and private libraries for more than 22 years. Currently, she heads the lower school library at Morningside Academy in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She cannot imagine our culture without libraries, “the closing of some of these is a tragedy,” she states. “Kids need them. We should never be without books.”
Though adults are still reading, kids seem to be less interested. Mrs. Daughtry believes that children are distracted by more television, extracurricular activities and computer games. Reading is a part of education, and is heavily relied upon in every subject except math and physical education.
Library visits within a school setting encourage reading by allowing students to choose what interests them—fiction, mystery, nonfiction, etc.. ”To get lost in a book,” Becky Daughtry believes, “is to use the imagination while still learning things at the same time.” She herself encourages children to read the classics because that style of literature is so different from what is found in bookstores today. Her favorite as a kid: Swiss Family Robinson.
Mrs. Daughtry would like parents to know how they can help their children read better and more:
Be a positive role model—read a book yourself.
Be aware of what your child is reading. Do they understand the content? Is it suitable?
Develop personal interaction with your child by reading out loud. Be the listener.
Understand that reading for fun is as necessary as reading for education.
Read aloud to your own children, even when they’re older.
Find books which are of interest to your children.
Becky Daughtry loves her work because she loves children and she loves books. She believes that she is called to work with children. Teachers and librarians have the opportunity of positively influencing the lives of young students. Mrs. Daughtry once had a young boy who enjoyed reading old historical books—the hardbound type, without a picture on the cover. He learned most of his history this way and later graduated from university with a degree in history, preparing for law school.
The librarian touches the life of every child in a school.
Becky Daughtry can be found in the arrival area each morning at Morningside where she gives out hugs and every child is known by name.
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