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Posted on: 1 April 2012

In Front of My House by Marianne Dubuc

It was brewing in the news and in the union support campaign all fall/winter, so the recently-ended strike by Toronto library staff should not have come as a surprise. The strike, which lasted two weeks, centred on the workers refusing a contract that would have diminished their job security. What could the city’s plan have resulted in? Reduced hours, fewer resources, closed branches and ultimately less access to books. Each morning Sophie and I walked past the librarian picket line in front of City Hall on our way to daycare. While some were the lovely early spring days in March, anyone who has ever been involved in any kind of public demonstration knows how grueling these efforts are.

I think all library users owe these workers a huge thank you for taking this very important stand.

During these two weeks I was constantly reminded of how important our library is in supporting my daughters’ learning. The challenge of new and interesting books is especially important for beginning readers. Last night Elizabeth began reading In Front of My House to Sophie and me. We found this book just waiting for us to pick up when our local Branch re-opened. Its unusual size, lovely illustrations, quirky use of font sizes and word placement, and use of repetition makes it a great book for those just becoming comfortable reading aloud.

This book provided a huge boost to Elizabeth’s confidence as a reader. It was also fun for Sophie to practice some counting. After Elizabeth had finished, Sophie flipped through the pages to re-tell her own version of the story. It was a lovely and positive way to end our day. I can’t thank the library enough for all the ways it enriches our lives.

We invite any other beginning readers ! to let us know some of the books that they have discovered on the shelves of their local branch. Welcome back!


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