“Can you recommend a good book to read?”
“Oh, no, we only recommend bad books!”
Although it’s fun to joke around with young patrons who ask this question at the Youth Desk, the truth is that we in the Youth Department really try to match up readers with books and books with readers. How do we do that? – By offering a variety of changing displays that catch the passing glance, by creating printed booklists to use as starting points, and by always being willing to share our knowledge of the collection.
Display themes have been many, varied and occasionally whimsical. There have been displays on presidents, on spooky fiction, on bear and mice characters in picture books, on award-winning books for youth, on Michigan related books, on wordless picture books, and even books about food and eating. November’s displays include fantasy fiction and books that explore the concept of the great American melting pot.
Printed booklists offer handy title suggestions of often-asked themes or topics. Frequently asked-for topics for younger listeners include princess picture books, books with trucks, or having a new baby in the family. Older readers might appreciate “If You Liked…” lists that guide them to titles similar to The Red Pyramid or Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Harry Potter.
There is also a wall display called “Ask Me What I’m Reading.” Here Youth Department staff members post little write-ups of books from the Youth Department that they have read (or listened to). These short “book notes” change regularly, and by skimming them you will get to know what staff has been reading and enjoying. Currently displayed titles include Bear Has a Story to Tell (a picture book), Going Up! Elisha Otis’s Trip to the Top (about the invention of the elevator), and The Lives of Christopher Chant (a fantasy audiobook). Perhaps one of these titles will catch your fancy, too!
In spite of categorized reading levels and a whole spectrum of maturity levels, not to mention fickle reading moods, longer-lasting informational interests, or parental parameters – the Youth Department staff will nevertheless do its best to have each inquiring young patron leave the library with something in hand that they want to read.
Saline District Library, 555 N. Maple Rd., (734) 429-5450, www.saline.orgor Facebook.