Call of the Wild (and of the Canines)
Angela Hanshaw | April 27, 2010
Let’s just get this out of the way: I’m a dog person. I’d say ask me about my own dog, but you don’t have to—chances are, I’ll tell you about her anyway*. And so when I saw that Stockton-San Joaquin County (Calif.) Public Library had picked Call of the Wild by Jack London for their Big Read program and kicked it off with an event featuring dogs, I had to share.
To attract children and promote literacy in the city’s younger generation, the library recruited Indie and Frosty, sleds dogs with the Sierra Nevada Dog Drivers, for the kick-off. Turned out to be a good choice—more than 100 children and their guardians attended the event to meet the huskies and learn more about sled dogs. Each child also received a copy of Balto, the story of the Siberian husky famous for delivering diphtheria serum to Nome, Alaska, in 1924 and 1925. After meeting the dogs, young and old alike were invited to enjoy the music of the Sacramento Banjo Band.
Other events scheduled for Stockton’s Big Read include puppet shows, film screenings, Call of the Wild book group discussions, and a two-hour performance on Jack London’s life by actor and scholar Michael Oakes. You can find out more on the library’s page on the Big Read site. You can also see more images from the kick-off event at the Record.net, the online version of Stockton’s newspaper.
Aside from my love of dogs, I’m impressed the library came up with such a unique idea for a partnership. Has your library formed any unique library partnerships, dog-related or otherwise? Share in the comments below.
*She’s a sweet, adorable, medium-sized, five-or-so-year-old rescue mutt of no obvious breed. She also really likes to eat damp paper—I’m sure she’d find Call of the Wild quite tasty if it was left out in the rain.
Angela Hanshaw is Program Officer/Web Editor for the ALA Public Programs Office.
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