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With Great Power Comes Great Literacy

, , , , , , | Related | April 11, 2022

This story was told to me by my mother. I’m an itty-bitty first-grader at the local public library with her. Even though I’ve only recently started reading with any kind of ease and my library card is brand new, I LOVE books. My only previous library experience is with my school library, which has a checkout limit of two books per child.

Me: “How many can I check out?”

Mom: “Why don’t you ask the librarian over there?”

Satisfied with being given a route to an answer, I go chase after the librarian, who has just decided to move to a nearby section. My mom stays put, wanting to give me a little independence and knowing I won’t go far.

When I return, the librarian trails behind me to make sure I get back to my mother. She, however, is focused on me — more specifically, my vaguely diabolical ear-to-ear grin.

Mom: “What did the librarian say?”

Me: *Still beaming* “She said I could check out AS MANY AS I COULD HANDLE.”

Thus began many years of checking out twenty books at a time — enough that carrying them was a test of my strength and my book bag wept for mercy — and finishing them all in a week. My mom still laughs at the thought of that giant grin on my face as I realized the power of a library card.

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