You may have seen some new faces at our circulation desk during the past two weeks. We have been fortunate to have some staff from the Neyland (Parkdale) branch while they have been expanding and renovating their library.

The timing couldn't have been better considering all of the Summer Reading Program activities. It is good to see that 743 have registered for the program and 131 have already completed the required 10 books or 500 pages.

As an extra in the 'goodie' bag that the kiddos get with their certificate of completion is the More Snow for Children by Clark Childress. His mother, Kathryn Childers donated books for those completing the programs. This is a very special treat for the children. We are very appreciative of her generous donation.

One of the things we emphasis to our young readers is that they can read anything they want for the shear pleasure of reading. No tests are involved. Read and let your imagine take over.

I've always felt that if children can read well and enjoy it that'is half the battle in their education. I have friends and a daughter that are teachers. I get to hear and take part in a lot of discussions about students and education today. Most of it is not on the positive side.

Teaching to the 'test' and omitting a number of subject areas that were included in the curriculum when we went to school; along with accepting poor spelling and grammar are just a few of the problems. That doesn't speak to having to deal with the discipline problems, absenteeism, and continuous contacts with parents in an effort to keep them posted on their child's progress (or lack of it).

I just read a newspaper article about schools nationwide not preparing students for college or the workplace. Please indulge me while I get on my soapbox for a minute or two.

The basics that were mandated growing up were: in bed at eight o'clock on school nights. You had to be really sick to miss school. Home work completed before supper. If you had a discipline problem at school you could count on being disciplined at home. School is your work.

Even after completing high school my father wouldn't allow me to stay up later than 9 p.m. on a work night because you can't give an employer your best if you aren't rested. I've been reading that lack of sleep can be the cause or at least a contributing cause to the high rate of attention deficit disorder that is seen among our children today.

It appalls me that students are allowed to get away with misspelled words and extremely poor grammar. Allowing this to continue into high school automatically handicaps the student when they have to write papers in college and prepare anything written in the work place. In the library it distresses me that alphabetizing has become a high skill level instead of a basic routine knowledge.

OK, I've vented. It's too hot to be outdoors. Come to the library, get a good book and enjoy.

Lynda Whitton is the head librarian for the Northwest Branch Library in Corpus Christi. Readers may contact her at 241-9329.