Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

It’s a fine line between Ordinary and Extraordinary. Here at Gracepoint Berkeley church, I’m happy to be part of increasing the momentum of a culture shift, where reading is not only cool, it’s a given. Today’s picture is so mundane to me, but when I take a step back, I recognize the (Extra)ordinary in it. These middle school guys could be lost in the myriad Internet wormholes out there, playing video games, or just otherwise metaphorically or literally rolling around doing nothing. Instead they’re voluntarily coming to a library for independent reading. They don’t get community service points or extra credit for this. We don’t do any special programs. I have classical music playing, and pretty much leave them alone. We just read. (I actually get the most reading done during my times with these guys, so I personally look forward to it. Which some might find extraordinary in and of itself!)

Middle school guys totally in the zone — the auto reading zone — reading books that they *chose* to come to Bibliopolis to read. For an hour! (And some come early, just because.)

What’s your verdict: Ordinary or Extraordinary? 


Bibliopolis: A Happy Place

In response to The Daily Post’s prompt: “Happy Place.”

I have a lot of happy places, but it’s probably no surprise that I would count a library as one of them. But let me explain. Or actually, let’s have Anna Quindlen explain. In her book, How Reading Changed My Lifeshe says:

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.

Isn’t that lovely? Maybe I’m cheating, but I guess I’m saying that libraries house books, and books are transporters to other worlds, as well as into yourself. The idyll of my childhood, as you may remember, is the Cerritos Public Library (see my first post). And that’s why I work really hard to make Bibliopolis a magical place, dare I say a happy place, for the kids and teens (and the adults looking in longingly, as evidenced by the fresh nose prints I see on the door window every day) at Gracepoint Berkeley church.

Rather than show you a picture of books, I think the latest addition to the Bibliopolis patio-succulent-rock-garden created by some of the kids (and mom) captures some of the love all of the kiddos feel towards our library!

bibliopolis rock garden

Something peaceful and serene about this image, with the golden autumn leaves framing the rock labyrinth. And thanks Auntie Jenny (who is fast gaining on Auntie Ahmi for the title of most awesome Bibliopolis benefactress) for the lovely wood-burned sign. It says “Bibliopolis est. 2015.”