By Lindsey Travis
Sweetwater County Library System 

You can advocate for reading


The deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman rocked the world last week. Both of these celebrities were influential to pop culture – Bowie to the world of music, and Rickman for his portrayal of many on-screen characters.

We will always remember Bowie for “Space Oddity,” “Ziggy Stardust” his many other brilliant albums, and we’ll remember Rickman for his portrayal of Professor Severus Snape from the “Harry Potter” series, Dr. Lazarus from “Galaxy Quest,” and the Sheriff of Nottingham in “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves,” among his many fantastic roles. But something else wonderful about both of these men is that they both advocated for reading.

When interviewed by Vanity Fair magazine, David Bowie was asked, “What is your idea of perfect happiness?” To which Bowie responded, “Reading.” Rickman, who portrayed many book-based characters, once said, “A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.” Both Rickman and Bowie also have been featured on library READ posters.

When celebrities talk about books and reading, it makes an impact. Their influence may cause a reluctant child (or adult) to pick up a book.

When they talk about a book, suddenly that book may seem important to their fans.

You don’t have to be a celebrity to be an advocate for reading, however. And quite frankly, parents and family members are the most influential when it comes to encouraging kids to read. Parents who read are more likely to have children who read. Kids who are read to during their early years are more likely to enjoy reading as they get older. Parents and other family members also play a big role in actually getting books for kids. Young children can’t buy books or make it to the library by themselves – they rely on adults for that. Just making sure your children, grandchildren, or the children of other family and friends have the opportunity to get books can make a huge impact on their reading ability.

When you bring your kids to the library, make sure to check out some of the great programs we have going on. Here’s a look at the schedule for January:

Toddler Time – 10 a.m. Mondays

Story Time – 9:30 & 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays

STEM Story Time – 10:30 a.m. Jan. 29

Middle School Group – 3:30 p.m. Thursdays

High School Group – 6 p.m. Thursdays

Bring your kids by for one of the upcoming events, check out some books, and show your kids how much enjoyment can be found between the pages of a book.


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