Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SOLSC '16 Day Eight: Through a stranger's eyes

The author entered the library amidst the chaos of student broadcast prep and folks setting up kindergarten registration.  He insisted I call him by his first name, and we chatted on our way to the cafeteria to set up his presentation.

"Your school is so clean," he said.  
"We have a great custodial staff," I replied.

"Your library is wonderful, too."  
"It's only eight years old; I inherited a young collection."

"Thank you for getting everything ready; you've done this before!"
"This is only my third year as a librarian, and I flubbed my first author visit...he had to tell me to introduce him!  I hope I've gotten a little better since then."

(The children walk in. The author addresses me quietly.)
"It is wonderful to see children of all colors.  I come from a very white area. This makes me happy."
I agree; we have a very diverse learning community, and that makes me happy, too.

After the first presentation:

"I'm sorry they were a bit chatty today," I said.
"Oh, no, it's okay; they were talking about the poetry and the books.  I didn't mind; they were great!"

"I appreciate you talking a little about your difficulties as a child .  Our students just participated in a refugee walk to gain empathy for those fleeing difficult situations."
"My wife worked with refugees," he said, "And I'm glad to hear about this.  I'll share a little more with the older group."

After the second presentation:

"That group was wonderful!" the author exclaimed, "So engaged!"
His agent and I agreed.

"You can tell these kids have what they need; they are clean, well fed, well read.  It was great to do this presentation with them."

I find out the author worked in the Peace Corps and has traveled quite a bit.  He has a broad worldview, kind eyes, and a tender heart for his wife.

It was interesting to see my school through another's eyes, validated for what I notice,  what others might overlook and take for granted.  The author's visit was a good reminder of what shouldn't be a surprise in any school, anywhere.


  1. I love that you had an author visit. We've had a couple since I've been at my school. I'm so envious of these. There are so many fantastic authors that I would love to have. It is great to see what we see through someone else's eyes! Thank you for sharing.

    1. I am lucky to host several visits each year; my goal is for each grade level to see two authors. This was our first visit with this author, and it was interesting, indeed!

  2. Walking in someone else's shoes is so important. I love your voice in this piece.

    1. Thanks, Kimberley. I was taken aback by his openness, sharing these observations; it was refreshing.

  3. This sounds like an all around win for everyone - your school sounds quite marvelous.

    1. It is a marvelous school, Tara; fairly new, and with a community of readers that I have the pleasure of supporting.

  4. Wow, what a great experience. He sounds like a wonderful person as well as professional. It's always rewarding when someone sees the value in your kiddos as much as you do. What a wonderful day!

    1. He was very kind, and had a great story to tell!