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September 1, 2014

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What to do with old books? Donate!

My son took an interest in books from the time he was a newborn. Maybe it's because he sees me holding a book or a magazine quite frequently; maybe he just liked the colorful pictures in the books I showed to him. Whatever the reason, I'm learning first-hand the importance of reading to a child. My son is only 18 months old but he is picking up words from the stories I read to him. His vocabulary is amazing for a child his age.

When the weather finally turned beautiful, we started walking to the Gibson Library on the weekends to check out books for the baby. While repetition -- reading the same book over and over -- is good for memorization and learning in young children, it can also drive a parent off a cliff. This weekend as I rifled through a sparse bookshelf of board books, I realized that the Gibson Library is in need of some new stories.

I asked Marcie Smedley, head of youth services at Gibson, what the public can do to help the tiny selection of books for babies.

"We just put in an order for about 50 new ones," she said, "and this summer we will have some grant funds to spend in that area."

This was exciting news to me, but still, I can't wait until summer. I have read "Sheep in a Jeep" so many times I am repeating it in my sleep! I just know that there are households in Henderson who have children that used to read board books, but have grown out of them. I don't believe that people throw away books, so I know they've got to be hiding somewhere. What better way to clear some space and give service than by donating books to the library? (And hint, hint: the Gibson branch is the one I'd like to see the books at!)

"We always accept donations of materials at the library," said Smedley. "Folks can bring their books in any time. We can provide a receipt for the donations for tax purposes."

So, this is my challenge to all the Henderson moms out there who have overstuffed bookshelves. Donate some of your child's old books to the library. Then, take advantage of the library by checking out books to read to your child.

Our libraries are something I write about quite often, because of all the benefits they offer. Nothing compares to free knowledge, and the library is the one place you can get it.

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