Leaving a Loved One Behind!

You know those books … the ones we can’t stop reading and feel a sense of loss when the last sentence has been read. Even though we know the next great book just takes opening a cover, we wonder if there will ever be a story quite like that again!

Right now my life feels a little like a favorite book that has ended, but the story involves a change of schools. This school year I am closing the door on one library, which is leaving me excited and apprehensive about opening the door of the next.

I was even somewhat of an urban legend (thanks to one of our LA teachers). She would tell students every year I had read every book in the library. And they would believe it because, at random, I could just walk over to a shelf and find the title they were looking for.

A student would say, “You know Mrs. Willis, the book you talked about with the goldfish on the cover,” and I would walk straight to the shelf and pull out Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind. (I know—you’re thinking there are two books with goldfish on the covers, but I knew which one I had recently included in my reader’s advisory.) I could do this all day! Sometimes I could just look at the shelves from behind my desk and tell them yes we have it.

I knew where every book was because I was the person book talking, circulating and shelving the collection. My students trusted me with their reading and would ask me every day for suggestions. My greatest joy was having a non-reader come in for help to later tell me “I couldn’t put it down; do you have anything else just like this one?”

But in June 2014 I made the difficult decision to change schools after 11 years! While I have loved going to work every day, I know another school library needs my attention and expertise. I have closed the book and am excited to crack open the cover on the next, get the keys and get started! Yet I find myself wondering if and hoping my new library will have all my favorites in their collection.

I know it will take a while to convince the students and staff I am there to share the joy of reading and have those wonderful book-conversations with them, and I can’t wait to begin writing this story with them.

Cathy Willis

Cathy Willis