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Disciplines

Children's and Young Adult Literature | Diplomatic History | Ethics in Religion | Information Literacy | Library and Information Science | Other Film and Media Studies | Photography | United States History

Document Type

Featured Article

Abstract

Here I give an account of my life as a reader. The first books I remember enjoying are those that were read aloud on Captain Kangaroo, such as Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, The Story about Ping, and Stone Soup. When I was a little older, in school we learned about science and current events from the stories in Weekly Reader. This was followed by an interest in baseball and the sports page in the local newspaper. In high school, I was more interested in films than books, but “visual literacy” has it place in life, too. My reading in college reading included poems by Wendell Berry, short stories by Flannery O’Connor, and The Plague by Albert Camus. Today I am often called upon to search archival collections for primary documents and photographs that have a bearing on what students are studying in History classes, such as the military dispatches found in The War of the Rebellion, the diplomatic messages collected in Foreign Relations of the United States, and the photographs taken by The Farms Security Administration in the 1930’s. The growing complexities of meaning in the texts I discuss make perfect sense from the perspective of developmental psychology. But so does my renewed interest in reading the stories that my grandchildren love. I suspect that every librarian could tell a similar story about their life-long love for books.