Saturday I had the strangest conversation (if you can call it that) with one of my regular kids. This girl normally comes in for anime club and drawing books, that's her thing and I fully support it. I love the drawings that kids in the library do. I've even sectioned off a section of wall that has been subbed the "Art Gallery" and the anime club kids, and even random kids who like to draw, give me their pictures and I put them up on the wall. I love seeing the pride in their eyes as something that they've created is displayed for public admiration.
Anyway, this girl had to look into novels because she and her brother (who wasn't there mind you) had to do book reports. So we trudged over to the YA row and I've never had such a hard time finding books for someone, they were all too girly, or to big, or the words were too small, or a million other things. There were a few books that we were picking up that were maybe's the problem was that I hadn't read all of them. Some of the books other kids had raved about when they returned them, or the books just circulated often so I knew there must be something interesting about them.
At one point, the girl I was helping asked if I'd read the book she was holding I told her that it was one that I'd started but hadn't had time to finish. (Here's the section where kids say the darnedest things) She asked me, "How come you haven't read this, haven't you read, like all the books in the library." I looked at here then at the five hundred book or so that were within eyes sight, then I looked back at her and said, "Nope, I haven't quite gotten there yet."
It was the most ridiculous thing in the world but then I started to think about it a bit. As librarians we should know what materials we're suggesting to others. How can I expect someone, who's not a big reader as it is, to take my word for it when I haven't read the books that she's considering. It was kind of frustrating. I know its unrealistic to imagine someone having read every book in their department of the library, but at the same time after the other day I kind of feel like I should have.