Tuesday, August 14, 2007

All the Good Stuff

I remember, when I was eight or nine, running so fast I felt I was flying. When I told my mother this, she sighed and told me to enjoy it while it lasted. Surprised, I asked her what she meant and she explained that kids could do some things adults couldn't. She, as an adult, could not run out in the street. If she did people would think there was a problem; she was being chased or was running away from someone. This was a new concept to me as up until then I'd believed it was the adults who had all the good stuff, not the kids.

My generation changed all that. Adults can and do run in the streets now; they just call it jogging. Adults can do other things that they couldn't do in public in previous generations either. They can roller skate and bike, for example. Okay, some do obnoxious things they shouldn't do in public like chew gum (one of my personal pet peeves). However, it's true that we do have much more freedom and can do things now that only children were allowed to do before.

Libraries have been slow to catch on to this. Yes, libraries! Those bastions of change and freedom! I love the reading to dogs program, for example. I don't have a dog and the idea of sitting next to and reading to one while he or she listens to me in rapt attention delights me, but the program has the serious purpose of increasing children's reading skills and confidence, you see. It isn't just for fun. And it's not available to adults.

Then there are the summer reading programs. Oh, they had some of these for children when I was growing up but they weren't nearly as well organized as they are now. Libraries should have them for adults too. But, but...maybe some libraries are finally getting the idea. I saw that the Seattle Public Library is in its fourth year of having a summer reading program for adults ! Good for them! I wish more libraries had them!