Lots of books go home under library’s new program, the ‘Big 10!’

Laurens and Clinton branches of the Laurens County Library are offering Laurens County students a book supply program called  “The Big 10,” which is a large bag filled with 10 books along the age and interests of students.

It’s sponsored through a District 55 Literacy Grant, but any library patron from the county can sign up their children and get a large bag of books to read, which is then returned for another bag of books at either the Clinton or Laurens branches.

“The idea is that we are picking 10 books for children in K-4 thorough 12th grade and they pick them up at our curbside booth,” said Caitlin Bellinger, children and youth services director for the Laurens County Library. “We have a survey on our website under ‘The Big 10’ banner or under Library Services where you tell us general information such as the child’s age, grade and what authors or types of books and categories you would like.”
The library website is www.lcpl.org, and the phone number is 864-681-7323.
“I get an email with the survey results and pull books based on that information and call or email the parent when the bag is ready” Bellinger said, who added she had already compiled five of the Big 10 bags Thursday morning.
Everyone may not want to read every book, she said, but she tries to use the student’s personal interests for some books, and then adds a couple of others that may be unknown but might be well-received.
“There are so many great children’s and youth books out right now,” Bellinger said, including new picture books for young children, and some great graphic novels for older students.
“There are some classics that have been written into very good graphic novels and those can serve as a gateway to reading the classics,” Bellinger said.
Historical accounts have also been written as graphic novels, she added, including John Lewis’ “March” series books about his work in the Civil Rights Movement.
With school reading requirements starting back, Bellinger said it’s a good time to keep different books available since parents are having to read to their children at night to keep up with required reading assignments.
“And the students in the virtual and hybrid schedules are still going to have more downtime than normal,” Bellinger said, “so it’s a good way to keep bringing in new books.”

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