In a new Lens feature in The New York Times, Matt McCann introduces the photography collection entitled, “Expired,” in which photographer Kerry Mansfield,
“. . . brings the lens in close, showing worn edges and torn covers and photographing the ephemera of the library experience: the check-out cards and the paper pockets they went into, for example.”
I do read e-books myself (sometimes) and I continue to wonder and learn about the potential that digital reading holds for kids and libraries. But Ms. Mansfield’s collection captures what I often attempt to convey when I’m asked about the future of books– that there’s something important and lasting about print books, especially the “loved” and worn (but not worn-out) library books that this collection features.
Many of the books in my personal collection came from flea markets, used book stores, and thrift shops. If I say the words, “Oh, someone wrote in this,” it’s almost always a good thing. I like reading birthday or graduation wishes written by some unknown, well-intentioned relative, and I appreciate the ownership and meaning associated with writing one’s name in a Golden Book. And like the photographer in the story, I’m thrilled to see the word “withdrawn” from some library, somewhere, stamped in a book that finds its way onto my shelves.
Be sure to check out the slides in the article, and see if you notice some familiar tomes, like I did. I know I have a Grimms’ Fairy Tale book that looks a lot like the The Family Treasury of Christmas Stories in Slide 1, and I bet you’ll recognize biography series from which Daniel Boone hails.
Hat tip to Librarian Patricia Sarles, for sharing this link on the AASL Forum. Thank you!