December 17, 2011

A gift for us all

Each year around this time, a family tradition at our household is to stop and look back at the past twelve months and reflect on the innumerable gifts that have come our way. Each year, we are reminded of how extraordinarily fortunate we are, as individuals, as a couple, as a family.  This year, as in every previous year, our list is lengthy and broad, with gifts of every size. And no matter the size of the gift, our gratitude is deep, very deep.   

Each day I go to work at the library I am in the presence of big gifts that literally come in “small packages” ... a tiny hand to hold, a smile to reciprocate and the delight on a young face when “the perfect” book is found and checked out to take home to enjoy with someone they love.  So many gifts, so much gratitude. 

I am one of the most fortunate of all people, as each day my world is full of friends, of all ages and sizes.  And recently some very dear Friends (note the capital “F”) recently gave a wonderful gift not just to me, but to you as well.  If you’ve been to the library’s website, you may have noticed it.  If not, grab a little one’s hand, go to and enjoy it together.   

The gift from our Friends is TumbleBooks, an online collection of animated, talking picture books and nonfiction titles.  Tumble in and you’ll find there is a whole lot packed into this one gift.  Books come to life as you listen to the text being read aloud while viewing gorgeous illustrations.  Both book descriptions and reviews are at your fingertips.  You can even submit your own reviews if you’d like.   

Do you speak a language other than English or would you like to listen to and read books in other languages?  The Friends gift allows you to do just that.  Take your pick of English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Russian.   Interested in playing book related puzzles and games?  TumbleBooks has those too.   And there’s more!  If you have an iPad and iPhone 4, TumbleBooks is literally at your fingertips.  It’s online, it’s interactive, it’s an amazing gift.  Thank you, thank you, Friends of Neill Library!

So, as I enjoy and explore this great online gift, I will also remember the gift of having a little one on my lap or snuggled in beside me as I read aloud and share a beautiful or funny or moving story together.  The touches, the giggles, the words, the wonderings, and yes, at times, even the tears that are shared when we sit down to read together are what will always resonate in our children’s hearts (and brains) and result in them wanting  “more”.  More books, more stories, more reading, more time with us. 

So, stop by the library and check out an armful of books to share over and over and over.  Then, as a bonus, grab your mouse or iPad or iPhone 4 and share additional wonderful titles together.  And as we click on our mice or touch our screens, let’s collectively say a big “thank you” to the Friends of Neill Public Library.  
 by Kathleen Ahern, Children's Librarian
published 12/17/11 in Moscow-Pullman Daily News

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