I did something a little crazy. I signed up for a six-week online class. The class is The Newbery Medal: Past, Present, and Future. I wasn’t going to sign up, because I can’t afford a class and don’t have time for a class.
However, two things persuaded me. At the National Book Festival, a co-worker I ran into reminded me that the Library’s Employee Association offers grants for things like that, to help with the cost. Then, I was following School Library Journal’s Heavy Medal blog, and actually found myself looking through all 79 pages of the Newbery Committee Guidelines that were posted. Yes, I am fascinated with the Newbery Medal. One of the reasons I am thrilled to be a librarian is that now I’m one of the people who sponsors the Newbery Medal! What’s more, the instructor was the chair of the Newbery Committee the year that I got to go to the Award Banquet, and she also wrote the textbook we used in my Library Services to Children class.
So — My reading habits are going to have to change. Mind you, I still have a persistent backlog of about 20 books I’ve read and plan to review, so the change in my habits may take awhile to hit the blog. Though I may get far further behind because of not having time to write reviews.
I’m going to be reading at least one Newbery winner from each decade the award’s been giving. One nice part of that assignment is that I’ve already discovered that almost every decade has a book that I’d long been meaning to read (and own) but haven’t got around to reading yet. Now I will!
Mind you, Kidlitcon 09 is only two weeks away! I’ve already begun reading a book by one of the authors I’m going to meet there, and I’m planning to read another. But once that is done, maybe I can settle in to some classics.
Of course, the clincher in deciding to take the course is that it is not graded. — If I don’t get the books read, it’s not like I’ll fail the course. But even as I say that I know that I will want to read even more than what’s required, not less. However, I just thought of an even better point in the classes favor: No papers! Yes, we have to post on the forums three times a week, but that part is fun. A class where I get to read lots of children’s books, but don’t have to write any research papers. What’s not to like? I’m excited!
But you may not hear as much from me for about six weeks….