Column: Give gift of reading with children's books

6:29 PM, Nov. 29, 2012  |  Comments
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It's that time of the year when we surround ourselves with friends and family as we celebrate and share all of the good things that life has to offer. At the Marshfield Public Library, we have opportunities to share and celebrate, too.

The Friends of Marshfield Public Library are sponsoring a special campaign called, "Give-A-Kid-A-Book." A special display with a bright green bucket is set up at the front of the library to collect donations of new or "gently used" books through the end of December.

The books will be distributed to the young clients of many of our social service agencies around town. Many of the books are shared as Christmas gifts or are given to children as they come into the social service programs throughout the year.

Imagine a home without books. It's certainly hard for me. This program is a way to touch children who have no books of their own. It may be the source of their first personally owned book.

Years ago, an agency caseworker shared this story with, me and I tell it each time we do the "Give-A-Kid-A-Book" program. The caseworker was doing intake interviews with a family of new clients. Each child had a personal interview in turns.

Before bringing the first child into her office, each of children selected a book of their own from the "Give-A-Kid-A-Book" program. When the caseworker came out to bring in the next child, she found all of the children sitting quietly in their chairs on top of the books she had given them. They were carefully guarding the precious gift they had been given to make sure that nothing happened to their books. No one was going take it from them before they got home.

This story always gives me a grin and catch in the throat. Those books were prized possessions, and the givers knew the value of a child's hope.

The gift of reading is a treasure that lasts a lifetime. If you want to share treasure with children in need, just drop off new or gently used books at the library and our "Friends" will be sure that they end up in the right hands.

There are other celebrations taking place at the library. To make it easier for people to check on meeting dates and times and to set up programs at the library, a Calendar of Events & Room Booking is available through the right hand column on the library's website at From the list of links in that column, simply click on the "Library Calendar of Events" link to see a month's worth of programs and meetings scheduled at the library.

If you would like to book a room for your group or organization, just click on the "Request a Room" link, select a date and meeting time and then work through the steps. Of course, if it's your first time booking online or you have any problems, or prefer a more personal touch, please call the library at 715-387-8494, ext. 20, for help.

Best wishes to you for a warm and bright holiday season. If you have other ideas of how Marshfield Public Library can reach out to the community or make it easier for you to reach us, please contact me at the library at or 715-389-2745.

Lori Belongia is director of Marshfield Public Library.

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports