St. John Parish Library receives children’s books donation

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2001


PHOTO: St. John the Baptist Parish Library Children’s Librarian Margaret Carlson shows Ray Tyree of Hibernia National Bank the new books the bank recently donated to the library. (Staff photo by Amy Szpara) LAPLACE – The St. John the Baptist Parish Library in LaPlace has several new books for children to enjoy this summer and throughout the school year thanks to Hibernia National Bank and the State Library of Louisiana. In a combined effort to provide all 65 public library systems in the state with books nominated for the Louisiana Young Children’s Choice Award, Hibernia and the State Library purchased almost 2,500 children’s books on the 2002 ballot for the award. Students in third through fifth grades cast their votes annually for their favorite books. Last year’s winner was “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” by J.K. Rolwing, just one in a series of outstanding novels that have captivated the hearts of both children and adults alike. State Librarian Tom Jaques has encouraged teachers to begin reading the nominated books aloud in their classrooms, especially because most of the books are part of the Accelerated Reading Program used by many schools around the country. Students have to have their votes in by Feb.1, so they have between now and then to read the books and make their decisions. The children can either vote at their schools or at the library. The ballots and information explaining the voting process are presently available at the library. “This is good because some libraries may not have the funds to buy all of these books,” said St. John the Baptist Parish Library Administrative Librarian Randy DeSoto. “All the children across the state will have access to these books now.” The St. John Library received three copies of each of the 15 books nominated for 2002. Margaret Carlson, the children’s librarian at the St. John library, will soon be contacting the parish schools and sending brochures better explaining the program along with posters to encourage participation. “The children will be able to check the books out here or have them read to them in class,” said Carlson. Though Carlson said there was not a large response to the program last year, she is hoping that this schoolyear will be different. She said library officials are going to push the program and get more kids involved. Ray Tyree, president of River Parishes Hibernia National Bank in LaPlace, which is right next door to the library on Airline Highway, stopped by Tuesday morning to have a look at the books that had been donated to the parish’s library system. Carlson showed some of the books to Tyree, explaining what each was about and who had written it. Carlson said she was happy that “Ramona’s World,” by Beverly Cleary, was in the nominations because she was glad to see Cleary’s name again. She also showed Tyree “Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride,” by Pam Munoz Ryan, a book about famed aviator Amelia Earhart. Though the donation was done on a corporate level, Tyree was interested in the program and how it would help the children in the parish. He said the bank would hang the poster in the lobby to let people know about it. “I think it’s a great idea,” he added. According to Carlson, the children will have to read at least three of the books of the 15 before voting on a favorite, then they can turn in their votes to a teacher or the library.