I went to the library this morning to return some books. I almost didn’t go. The books were due today. I tried to renew online, but one of the books could not be renewed. I considered putting the trip off, since the fine for one book wouldn’t be much. Then it occurred to me that someone else must be waiting for that book. So I decided I would just run by the library and put the books in the drop box.
I got to the library and almost just slid the books into the drop box, but I went inside instead. I’m glad I did, or I would have missed it. I walked to the desk and spoke to the librarian to let her know about the book I couldn’t renew. As I turned to go, I saw it. The hope that motivates us as teachers.
A white-haired man pushed the button that automatically opens the door. He took slow, mincing- but determined and intentional steps into the library. His wife followed close behind. His progress was painfully slow, but he walked straight to the shelves that hold the large-print books. Once he was there, his wife left him on his own and he was just another reader, looking for a book.
Yet he seemed so much more to me. He is exactly what we hope our students will become- a lifelong reader. A reader who wants a book badly enough to get to the library even when it isn’t easy. So when I am back at school (in less than a month!) and my students are before me, I will close my eyes for just a moment and picture them older, much older- walking into the library.
And this morning, I didn’t rush out of the library as I had intended (after all, I always have something to read on my Kindle)- I took my time and walked out with a new stack of books.