Thursday, March 26, 2009


Dear Arlington County Public Library,

Thank you very much for the books and services you provide - free of charge. As a former children's library worker, I know how much energy it takes to run a good children's department. My children love attending story hour with your many lovely children's librarians (especially Miss Gwen!). They love the toys you keep in the children's area, and most of all, they love the endless rows of books you have available.

I have just one issue I thought I should raise with you, on behalf of all parents of train-loving children. Was it really necessary to purchase the enormous compilation of Thomas the Train stories? The book, in case you are not as familiar with it as Ed and I have become, has FIVE HUNDRED AND NINE PAGES! That is almost as many pages as Little Women, a book I well remember reading in the 6th grade. FIVE HUNDRED. AND NINE. Shelved where a three year old with OCD can easily get his hands on it. Connor has carried this tome with him - up and down the stairs - for 5 straight weeks. morning and night. We will easily finish reading it for the fourth time in a few days, before it's time to either renew it or return it.

Believe me when I say, I have considered throwing it away and paying the fine, just to save other parents from the train wreck we have been experiencing each evening as Connor requests "just one more story from my big Thomas book". But, as I mentioned, I used to work in the children's department of a library, and even though as a parent I do believe I would be making the world a better place for other parents, I just can't bring myself to "lose" a book. But please, I am begging you, when we return it, DO NOT SHELVE IT WITH THE PICTURE BOOKS! Shelve it up high, where only a child who can read it to himself can get to it.

Thanks for your consideration of this very important matter.

Kindest regards,

A mom who has read but a fraction of the book, on behalf of her husband who has easily read the lion's share of this book - nearly FOUR TIMES now.


  1. What a good and patient daddy.

  2. I feel like asking our library to get rid of those gigantic Sesame Street and Richard Scarry books. It's all Eamon goes near when he goes there. And then he wants to take them home!