Kids need a library


One of my favorite benefits of teaching was reading children’s literature. Notice, I did not say books, but literature…quality stories, well written, with great plot lines and usually happy endings. Usually.

I only read “Where the Red Fern Grows” once because when I got to the part where the fern grows, I started getting teary eyed in class. It was hard to focus on the rest of the book. (If you want to know about the red fern, you’ll have to read the book!)

And Gilly Hopkins eventually gets what she wants most in life, only to learn an important life lesson. (Read The Great Gilly Hopkins to discover her wish.)

By the way, Gilly is a troubled child who is placed in a foster home run by a lady described as “a great hippopotamus of a woman.” As politically incorrect as that may be now, it gives the reader an instant mental picture.

I have been out of teaching for a while, and I have no idea what the “hot” books are now.

But I know if I went into a library with a bunch of 10-year-olds, they would be able to recommend their favorite books to me.

Ever watch kids in a library? They pick up a book, look at it and put it back. Eventually they will find one they like.

When a parent mentioned to me that there would not be room for a library at Tilton School this year, it concerned me. 

Tilton will become the fourth and fifth grade building for the district. This is an age group that needs a library with a lot of books because sometimes it takes a while to find the right one, especially if you are a reluctant reader.

I contacted the administration and talked to Tony Doyle, the assistant superintendent. Tony was my principal in my last years at Tilton and knows the building well.

He did admit the building was full, but said school staff were working on a variety of “creative” solutions to solve the problem.

When I first started at Tilton we had a portable building that served as classrooms and eventually as a library. May School has a portable building not being used. Maybe part of that creative solution could be to relocate the portable from one school to another.

I don’t know if that is practical considering the age of the portable.

But I do know kids need a library.  

Here’s to creative thinking and a workable solution.

Terry Dickow can be contacted at