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Last-minute Stocking Stuffer - a Thousand Free Books

December 22, 2006

Boston, MA - For the reader on your list, the Massachusetts Library Association is recommending library cards as a last-minute stocking stuffer or Hanukkah gift.

The children's section in Massachusetts libraries is growing even faster than the adult section. The latest report from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners says since the mid-1990s, more than 2 million children's books have been added to the state's collection. Laura Bernheim with the Massachusetts Library Association says the holidays are a good time to give a child in your life the gift of reading.

"The library really is the first step in promoting literacy and a great love of reading in young people, and I think libraries have taken such an active role in that."

Bernheim thinks buying books for children is a great idea, but she encourages taking a trip to the library too.

"When I used to work in the children's room at other libraries, young kids were so excited to get their first library card. That was such a rite of passage for them."

If you aren't sure what books to get, libraries are now employing almost twice as many young adult librarians as they were 10 years ago who can provide a wealth of books appropriate for any reading level.

Kevin Clay/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MA