Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reading Programs Are Everywhere

If you haven't noticed, summer's coming, and that means the libraries are getting ready for their Summer Reading Programs. The point is to keep kids reading while they're out of school, by offering incentives for meeting a self-set goal. Some libraries have developed programs for adults, too.

The public libraries aren't the only ones with reading programs--many stores, restaurants, sports teams, etc., have programs, too. I don't fault them for promoting reading, but they're working the cause in order to drum up business, develop their customer base at a young age, and make money.

This year the libraries in our system were invited to participate in a circus reading program. One of my cohort s objected to it on the grounds that the circus promotes animal cruelty. I've been to enough circuses myself to feel that I'd rather support the ones without animal acts. It's a tough enough life for the human performers--I toured the circus train when I was in college and the individual compartments for the clowns were less than six feet long. (Of course, when you see how many clowns can fit into a Volkswagen Beetle maybe that's spacious.)

I'm not a vegetarian.  But I think the days of wild animal shows are over...or should be.

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