National Library Week Essay

National Library Week Essay

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Literacy is the power to be great in the world," storyteller Gcina Mhlophe assured the audience August 19 during the opening ceremony of the 73rd World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions in Durban, South Africa (AL, Oct., p. 36-38).

Parents and library workers witness the magic that happens when young people are in contact with books. From kindergarten through 5th grade, I joined my son Owen Hunter for lunch at his school two or more times a week, reading aloud to him and his class and completing hundreds of books over those six years. Now, as a high school senior, Owen reads titles such as Collapse, An Inconvenient Truth, and any book by Orson Scott Card.

We have fallen in love with books and, as a result, created a generation of readers connected through characters and stories--witness the remarkable success of the Harry Potter series. I can return home to Minnesota through the writings of Louise Erdrich, Tim O'Brien, and LaVyrle Spencer. I connect with my indigenous colleagues around the world through the...

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