At least for a while. Theo did like the idea that he could make 3D models of shapes.

It only took him a few minutes, though, to figure out that it was way more fun to put as many toothpicks as he could into the glob of homemade playdough on the table. šŸ™‚ After several minutes he had created a lavendar porcupine.

I have no doubt that Theo will return to the bean architecture project many times, though. I showed him that I put the softened beans into a zipper bag and into the fridge. Having multiple creative projects that he can access himself is pretty cool with him.

Nic worked on creating drawings showing how plants convert sunlight into water, absorb carbon dioxide, and breath out oxygen. Seriously I love this child’s creativity. šŸ™‚ Some of his drawings, while factually accurate, are also deeply funny because his sense of humor is developing so nicely.

After housecleaning and projects, we headed off to the library.

I love, love, love libraries. And I deeply miss our wonderful library in Carmel, Indiana. There we encountered the BEST people as librarians. They were always friendly and approachable and engaged. They remembered childrens’ names and interests. And they never shushed children who were just being children.

Unfortunately we have not had the same types of wonderful library experiences here. Most of the branches we’ve visited have been staffed by surly people who seem not to like children coming in to libraries. They seem to be populated with librarians who do not even like children to enter the children’s sections of libraries. It is sad.

Libraries are sacred to me. As such, I would never allow my children to run around, creating havoc, damaging materials, disrupting other patrons… I require that they remember that others are around and using the library facility. And they have always enjoyed trips to the library, so not much coaching is ever needed.

But libraries are only sacred if they are also useable. For it does no good to have all these awesome resources if children are made to feel unwelcome in them.

My belief is that PUBLIC libraries must welcome children…and the normal noise that comes with them. To not do this is to present children with an image of a library as an art museum….a place where one must “look but never touch…in fact, it’s best not to go in there anyway, because I’m not trusted there.”

Librarians MUST recognize that their job is not solely to protect the libraries physical materials…but also to protect a child’s love of learning via reading.

Librarians who glare and ‘shush’ and imply that it’s not ok to be a child within these rarified walls…they teach children that learning is boring. They teach children that librarians are grumpy and boring.

I will continue my quest to find library branches that respect the right of a child to be a child and to welcome him as he is.

And I will not return to branches that do not do this.

And to the wonderful librarians at the Carmel-Clay Public Library in Carmel, Indiana, a message: we deeply miss you and wish that we could have brought you along to Maryland. šŸ™‚

with passion (and possitivity),
Mary

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