Greensboro, NC --Main Branch of the Public Library -- August 21, 2007

I had the privilege of talking with children’s author, James Young. The mural in the background is by Shana Gregor. In the case are prizes for the Get a Clue summer reading program. About 2,000 kids signed up at this location alone. They were knee deep in kids in June.

What do the kids read? Junie B. Jones, by Barbara Park and The Magic Tree House series, by Mary Pope Osborne are popular. They have a broad range of readers, and a broad range of prizes.

Here's one of Mr. Young's picture books, which, he said, are hard to publish these days. There aren't enough young children to create a demand. They've grown up. It’s like the pig and the python. The bulge is the baby boomer generation. The boomlets, the ripple effect. We’re in a young adult cycle right now, when the young adults have children then they’ll buy picture books for their kids.

His favorite book of all time--Walden, by Thoreau. There was a time when he always picked it up. It calms you right down.

He told me about the One City, One Book program, which was started in Greensboro by Steve Sumerford. They’re in their forth or fifth year. One year a local professional theater group did a production of A Lesson before Dying, by Ernest Gaines.

The library likes to work with the children’s museum and with the cultural center--it helps get the word out and build audiences.

Another fabulous mural. The library building will celebrate 10 years in October of 2008. The librarians in Tuscaloosa, Alabama had recommended it as a beautiful place to visit.

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