Thursday, September 15, 2016

Gary Paulsen thinks you are AMAZING!

September 15, 2016

Every Thursday, you’ll get this short, fun, relevant newsletter. It will contain a quote or smile about the library and those who love it, an idea you can use to promote your library or reading in general, and an occasional shameless plug for the programs I offer. Enjoy! 

If you are new to us or have missed any previous issues, you can read them all at And please tell your friends about it!

In this issue:
Gary Paulsen Inspired!
How to impress your teachers!
Alabama Library Expo!

Gary Paulsen Inspired!

I had the privilege a few years ago to perform “I Love to Read!” at a community wide library event where Gary Paulsen was the featured speaker. He has had over 200 books published and is a real rock star in contemporary children’s literature. He had some hilarious stories to tell, but my favorite 3 minutes of the whole day was when he told how his life changed forever at the library.

"One night, in a small Minnesota town (Thief River Falls) where I was selling newspapers, as I was walking past the public library in twenty below temperatures, I could see the reading room bathed in beautiful golden light. I went in to get warm and, to my absolute astonishment, the librarian walked up to me and said, 'Would you like a book?'

"I said, 'Sure.' And she said, 'Bring it back when you're done and you can get another one.' This went on for a long time. The librarian kept giving me things to take home and read— westerns, science fiction, and every once in a while a classic. She didn't care if I wore the right clothes, dated the right girls; none of those prejudices existed in the library. When she handed me a library card, she handed me the world.”

When the librarian asked if he would like a library card, Paulsen says, "the most astonishing thing happened. This silly little card with my name on it gave me an identity I had not had. I felt I had become somebody."

You are making a difference today for your students! Keep up the good work!


"Libraries and librarians have definitely changed my life -- and the lives of countless other Americans...they deserve the support and patronage of every single one of us who values education."
-- Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Encouraging reading – from 45 Ideas in 45 Minutes – Promote Reading

39. Keep up with what your teachers are teaching. Know the standards and ask to be invited to the teacher planning time/collaboration to let them know what resources the library media center offers to support upcoming lessons. You can increase your value to the school and help your colleagues become better teachers by showing them that there are DVD’s, books and databases that can help 5th grade teachers teach about the Civil War. More effective teachers, increased value, better educated students and increased test scores should be motive enough. Add to that the warm feeling you get when you KNOW that you are making a difference for the whole school, and this is worth doing.

Alabama Library Expo

I am so excited to be a featured speaker at the Alabama Library Expo next week. I will be presenting “45 Ideas in 45 Minutes!” for the folks attending. I look forward to seeing you there!

Let me know how I can help! See you next week!

“Thanks for a great show. Our mission is to educate, enrich and entertain – you certainly covered all three areas! What a great way to get children to Dream BIG! Thank you again and have a great summer.”
Mandi Cantrell, BB Comer Library, Sylacauga, AL

Encouraging kids to read, I am
Tommy Johns
Educational Entertainment Specialist

PS – Don’t forget to share this newsletter and blog with your colleagues!
Call 770-315-3339 or Toll Free at (866) 490-READ
Your peers appreciate your advice about quality programs. Please tell them about your experience working with us. Our best sales people are our many loyal clients.

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