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children books of the sort that make all the world neighbors. There is a time for opening windows in the child's mind thru his imagination, and unless we begin early the child may live his life shut up in a windowless prison of narrow-mindedness. Many children have no access at all to books.
There are too many states in this Union which, from the point of view of library progress, are living in the dark ages. Teachers and librarians must work together till not only good schools but good books for home reading are free to all children in America.
We must be careful about the kind of books on this war which we give to children. Do not buy low-class battlefield thrillers tost off by the juvenile-story writer to put money into his pocket. Only a writer of serious and honest purpose should be allowed to speak to our children thru stories of the war.
SELECTING BOOKS FOR HIGH SCHOOL BOYS
EDWIN L. MILLER, PRINCIPAL, NORTHWESTERN HIGH SCHOOL, DETROIT, MICH.
A student at Yale was once askt, “Did you take Greek?” He replied, “No, but I was exposed to it.” In this anecdote there is contained the germ of the whole philosophy of books and their choice for boys. “You may lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.” You may print lists of the best books by the thousand, but you cannot make the boys read them. All that you can do is to expose the boys to their influence and if they take to them thank your stars, provided the result is such as you desire. A certain eminent educator has indeed suggested that it would be well to place all of the books which one desired a boy to read in a lockt bookcase and label it "Forbidden Fruit, Highly Improper for Boys." The result would always be the same-a boy would read eagerly and thoroly.
As a matter of fact, ever since I can remember I have been a reader, a lover, and a collector of books. I have not studied them for the sake of improving my mind, for that would have been impossible; I have read them in the same spirit in which boys play ball, girls dress their dolls, men attend prize fights, and women gossip about their neighbors. I have read them as Macaulay says, "with my feet on the fender.” The consequence is that, logic or no logic, reason or no reason, I am convinced that it is a good thing for a boy to acquire this harmless habit.
The way to begin, it seems to me, is to expose Mr. Boy at the outset to something which he really will read for the pure fun of the thing. I suggest Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, tho several years ago, when I asked a certain high-school librarian to purchase them for her shelves, she held up her hands in horror exclaiming, “You don't expect me to put them on my shelves, do you ?" I replied, “I do, What is your objection to them ?" “Why," she answered, “If I were to have those among my books, they would be in use all the time and would soon be worn out.” She was quite right. There are also certain boys who like Treasure Island. A certain young gentleman of eight recently read Jack London's Call of the Wild with understanding if not with pleasure under my eye, though he knew it not, and I later found him devouring Over the top and My Four Years in Germany. I have even seen him dipping into the Literary Digest.
PRACTICABLE LIBRARY COOPERATION WITH JUNIOR RED
CROSS ORGANIZATIONS IN RURAL SCHOOLS
0. S. RICE, SUPERVISOR OF SCHOOL LIBRARIES, STATE DEPARTMENT OF
PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, MADISON, WIS. No great work involving millions of free people can be successfully accomplisht without the wide and wise use of the printed word. This truth is strikingly illustrated in the carrying out of the many war drives since our entry into the world-war. Newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and posters are depended upon not only for the specific purposes of any particular drive but also for the rousing of the popular mind to the war situation in general, so that the people will respond as a unit to the appeals for national action in this world-crisis.
Much is said, with good reason, concerning the necessity of maintaining the morale of the Army and Navy in order to win the war. Keeping up the morale of the civilian population is not a whit less important. Patriotic addresses, public discussions, parades, moving pictures, and the like, accomplish much toward this end; but after all the power of print is the greatest force that can be utilized to maintain the general morale in these critical times. In fact, all other agencies themselves depend for their material largely upon what appears in print.
Children who read Over the Top or Private Peat will both know and feel what we are fighting for and what sacrifices must be made; those who read Florence Nightingale, the Angel of the Crimea, will realize the dreadful conditions now prevented by the Red Cross; Hospital Sketches, by Louisa May Alcott, makes the work of the Red Cross nurse vividly real; the Rhymes of a Red Cross Man nerve to heroic action without un-Christian hate; newspapers and magazines warn against insidious enemy propaganda; bulletins, pamphlets, and posters, well chosen and used in season, point the way to practical efforts in production, conservation, and contribution.
Such reading serves the principal purpose of the Junior Red Cross organization, which is education in patriotic citizenship with practical application to the present world-crisis. To bring it about on a large scale the best attainable library service is necessary. Little has been done to this end, however, up to the present time.
The children of rural communities need the services of the printed word in this world-crisis even more than do the city children. In the country there are fewer opportunities to hear addresses, see war "movies,” etc., than in the city; and yet the rural population of our country has, per capita, only about one-fortieth of the public-library service enjoyed by city people. Vast rural areas and millions of the rural population are absolutely without public libraries. Only a relatively minor rôle then can, as a whole be played by public libraries in library cooperation with Junior Red Cross organizations in rural schools. We must look largely to other agencies for such service, at least for the present.
State traveling-library systems can do a great service for Junior Red Cross organizations in rural schools by sending to them small but wellselected collections of books suitable for promoting the aims of the Junior Red Cross. Packages of such books can be inexpensively sent by parcel post.
Loans to teachers of individual books on Red Cross topics would be a valuable way of reaching the schools. Hundreds of such loans were made during the past year by the Wisconsin Free Library Commission.
Package libraries of pamphlets and clippings would make available much Junior Red Cross material. The Extension Division of the University of Wisconsin sends out on application such packages to the schools of the state.
County traveling-library systems can be utilized on the plan recommended for state traveling libraries.
Public libraries in cities would render a valuable service by supplying Junior Red Cross material to schools in surrounding rural communities during the period of the war.
School libraries are now so general thruout the country that in their use lie great possibilities for promoting Junior Red Cross activities in rural schools. Selection of books and periodicals for such libraries and the general reading of the pupils should be based to a considerable extent on the educational aims of the Junior Red Cross. Schools should have a simple filing system to take care of war pamphlets and clippings, so that their contents may be easily available.
State young people's reading circles, by emphasizing the reading of books relating to the world-war and the various patriotic subjects connected therewith, can do a great work thru the Junior Red Cross organizations. In fact, the promotion of reading-circle activities may well be concentrated in the form of a “drive” seeking to enrol the pupils in all the schools of a state for patriotic reading under reading-circle auspices.
Junior Red Cross organizations in rural schools can be of effective service in future drives for money and books for the camp libraries administered by the American Library Association. Only public libraries have been appealed to in past drives for camp libraries. Over half the people of the country, however, reside in communities not maintaining a public library, and in such communities the Junior Red Cross organizations can well do the work.
Junior Red Cross organizations aim, above all, to give to the rising generation that vision of patriotism and duty which points the way to the relief of suffering, makes clear the issues of the world-war, teaches the ideals of true democracy, and nerves for the sacrifices necessary to make the world safe for democracy and to make democracy more and more a blessing to the world. No higher service can be rendered by library agencies than by effectively cooperating in this patriotic program. This they can best do by expanding and extending for this purpose their primary function of providing literature suitable to the needs of those whom they
REPORT OF THE ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL COMMITTEE:
CLEVELAND, OHIO It was only a little river, almost a brook; it was called the Yser. One could talk from one side to the other without raising one's voice, and the birds could fly over it with one sweep of their wings. And on the two banks there were millions of men, the one turned toward the other, eye to eye. But the distance which separated them was greater than the stars in the sky; it was the distance which separates right from injustice.
The ocean is so vast that the sea gulls do not dare to cross it. During seven days and seven nights the great steamships of America, going at full speed, drive thru the deep waters before the light houses of France come into view; but from one side to the other hearts are touching.
You are probably familiar with this letter of the fourteen-year-old French student, which is remarkable in spirit and expression for so young a girl. I quoted it because of the last sentence, “But from one side to the other hearts are touching." This expresses so simply yet so beautifully one actual good which is emerging from the present great evil-the growing oneness of the nations. We feel also the quickening everywhere of that idealism common to all nations which thru long years has always exprest itself in service and sacrifice. It is the aim of the Junior Red Cross to seize this enthusiasm for service, intensified by the great experience of war, and make it contribute toward a truer community of spirit and better world-citizenship.
Mr. McCracken says, “If history is so taught and so studied that the age-long struggle toward liberty and democracy is vital to the students and they are imprest with their potential part in it, both students and teachers are doing the highest kind of Red Cross work.” How may the public library help in this highest kind of Red Cross work ? Surely one way is to keep before the children well-told accounts of great patriotic deeds, not simply those performed by our own heroes of past and present days, but also those performed by the great men of other times and countries. True patriotism means more than an emotional thrill. It is compounded of so many things; a knowledge, as well as love, of one's country; a desire to obey its laws; the wish to share its privileges with others less fortunate; the determination to serve it by courageous living. Too often in these days the finer feelings of children are blunted by a cheap emotional excitement that passes for patriotism. Are we cultivating real patriotism when we let young girls sell liberty bonds for kisses, or have school children for the climax of their parade pound nails in a dummy Kaiser's coffin ?
The Junior Red Cross is counteracting just such negative, if not really destructive, influences by presenting a program of war service for children which is at once educative, patriotic, and enticing.
In considering the question of how the public library may cooperate with the Junior Red Cross, the Elementary School Committee suggests that the library's service is to make available to children in every way possible that literature which will give them an appreciation of their country's part in the "age-long struggle for democracy” and strengthen their desire to perform unselfish service. The following definite ways are suggested:
1. To place on display racks in library or school small collections of books under headings such as “Love of Country,” “Men and Women of the Day," "National Holidays," "Heroes and Heroines,” “Fighting for Freedom," "National Heroes."
2. To make picture bulletins illustrating some particular Red Cross activity.
3. To compile reading-lists and leaflets on such subjects as “Why We Are at War," "War-Time Changes in Commerce," "Why We Must Save Wheat," "How Boys and Girls Can Help," "How the Red Cross Helps the Soldiers and Sailors."
4. To keep on file reports and literature pertaining to the activities of the Red Cross in civilian and war relief and the part the Junior Red Cross plays in these activities.
5. To work with teachers, wherever such assistance is welcome, in planning a series of compositions on patriotic subjects and programs for national holidays.
6. To collect informational material for children's use in writing these compositions.
7. To have exhibits held in the library showing some of the work of the Junior Red Cross.
8. To provide means of coordinating Junior Red Cross activities with library war service, e.g.: (a) making scrapbooks for the hospitals; (b) making boxes in which to ship books to the soldiers; (c) holding meetings for sewing, knitting, scrapbook making, etc., in the library; (d) converting library clubs into clubs with a definite war service in view; (e) holding in the library exhibits of food organized by Junior Red Cross groups, with the purpose of giving tangible form to recommendations for conserving