Little Book Locker's newest site, Emmaus Family Shelter in Haverhill, MA, had a little problem with their bookshelf when we arrived. It was full of old, worn copies of books people had donated, including the always enticing DICK AND JANE (seriously), and literally at least 200 copies of Mary Poppins. As if kids who are temporarily living in a shelter absolutely need access to a book about a rich English family with a magical nanny. Oh, and it was about the new version of the movie. I love Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel, but these are not children's books as much as they are toys with pages and pictures made by the Disney company to promote their movie. And when they didn't sell, because books about movies are rarely fun to read (when you could just watch the movie! Which is better and has really funny songs!) someone dumped them on Emmaus' children's bookshelf and thought, "I did my good deed for the day."
Well, you didn't.
You actually created a problem for the shelter, because now their bookshelf is full of crap and they can’t fit any new, quality children’s literature on the shelves because HALF THE SHELVES ARE COVERED WITH MARY POPPINS. And the people who work at the shelter don’t really have a ton of time for bookshelf upkeep.
So not only did our dedicated LBL volunteers (Kristen, writing this now, and her high school pal Leslie, who lives in Haverhill and made the connection) deliver books to the shelter, we cleaned it out for them. Which was oddly satisfying.
Here is a photo of Leslie (in magenta) and Margot who works at the shelter in front of the newly Little-Book-Lockered shelves. We kept maybe 30-40 of the books that were already there, because there were some good ones! They were just hard to find. We added about 250 new ones. As usual, we made sure the new books were mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors for the readers.
We left a handful of copies of Mary P., because they were brand new and who knows? Maybe a kid will find them among the books by Jason Reynolds and Junot Diaz and Anika Aldaumy Denise and think, hmm … Lin and Emily look really cute on this cover … and dive in.
*Funny aside: Margot at Emmaus said I could take a few of the Mary Poppins for LBL if I wanted them, so I did take 3 copies of each type they had. So now Mary P. will pop up and be mixed in with other titles at other LBL locations. To be continued …