Delivering Books on Burroback

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Just as I was taking my first bite of granola and opening today’s New York Times, this headline caught my eye: “The Money May Be Lacking, but a Library Refuses to Go Quietly.” What a wonderful way to begin the day!  I knew right away that the story would be about people working hard to save access to knowledge and ideas and inspiration and stories. And there they were – the citizens of Central Falls,Rhode Island working to save their small town library. Here’s the link to the story and, if you are short on time, at least read the beautiful first sentence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/01/us/central-falls-ri-library-fights-to-stay-open.html?_r=1&hpw

The story reminded me of the lengths people will go to read books. Just think of Fahrenheit 451 and the image of Granger and his followers memorizing books to preserve their stories. Which book would you memorize? 

Most children take access to libraries for granted, but not everyone has that privilege. There are children who live in remote places that rely on the kindness of others to transport Harry Potter and The Very Hungry Caterpillar to them.

In northern Colombia that man is Luis Soriana who puts books on the backs of burros and delivers them to isolated villages.  In the past year, two picture books about Soriana have been published, both of which would be great ways to begin a discussion about the treasures on our library shelves and how one person can truly make a difference.

 Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia by Jeanette Winter

 Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown and illustrated by John Parra (the illustration on the right is by Parra)

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