Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Let’s Go To Town, Beginner Level, Part II

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,861 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,721 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

For this week’s Each Other/Let’s Go To Town Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, I was still in the library …

… where I had misplaced one small child, two Young Adults, and a couple of elementary-aged bookworms. Not to worry, dear readers, my local librarians are amateur sleuths in their spare time (evidently, detective skills are required in order to become a Children’s Librarian), and the little ankle biters turned up posthaste. One had snuck into Story Time and was sitting on the lap of a mom (who had several children and didn’t seem to notice the extra thumb-sucker), one was gleefully scanning books at the Self Checkout machine, and the teens had found the coffee shop.

All together once more, I sternly gave them a lecture about staying close to Auntie Jane so she doesn’t have a heart attack and ruin our perfectly lovely outing.

We pinky swore, so it was all good.

Andy and Piper were fit to bursting with some exciting news and they practically pummeled one another trying to tell me about it, as I wrestled a paperback romance novel out of the toddler’s mouth.

photo by ParentingPatch via Wikimedia Commons

“They show movies here!” Piper gasped. “Like, for free!”

“And they aren’t lame ones either,” Andy interrupted. “And they’re like, free!”

“With popcorn!” Piper squealed. “And they also have music!”

“And there’s a Craft Day, too,” Nora piped up. “And a Book Club just for girls my age! And a PreTeen Night, and a class about drawing, and a contest I could totally enter, and …”

She probably had more on her list, but I was distracted by realizing I needed a bigger tote bag for our treasures we planned on checking out.

Or like, a truck.

Anyway, I didn’t mind their exuberance since it was of the bibliophile variety, so I tried to organize our ragtag group once again. Laden down with stacks of books higher than their heads, they had to use their energy to carry them all, so we made it to the front desk in relative silence. Sorta.

photo by Herzi Pinki via Wikimedia Commons

Then the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed youngsters got their first library cards ever. It was a proud moment. It brought tears to my eyes, although that was the precise moment that Nora dropped the first seven novels of the Nancy Drew series on my foot, so it’s hard to tell what triggered the crying.

The kiddos were a little skeptical at first that they got to take all those books home. For free. Andy especially narrowed his eyes and looked hard at the librarian.

“Is this some sort of trick?” he asked. “A pyramid scheme? Something like that?”

We made it all home, and I’d say it was a rousing success, in spite of my throbbing foot and a slight headache. I dropped all the children off with their treasured stories and I myself settled down with a much-loved copy of Anne of Green Gables.

I forgot to tell them about due dates.

Oh well. I’m sure I’ll remember.



  1. Patricia Dean says:

    Coffee Shop!! Our library just has books….and terrific librarians! My girls and I are there at least once a week for interesting kid’s programs and books.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    When my girls were little , we used to take advantage of the story hour for each of their ages as well as family movie night in the children’s room. Kids were able to show up in their jammies too! Everyone piled on the floor with blankets, pillows and settled in for a kid friendly movie. It was so much fun, free, and a great way to enjoy great books, songs, and stories. Ahhh, Libraries are the best resource a community has!

  3. Cindi says:

    Nancy Drew! Such memories that brings back of entire weekends spent in my room turning page after page after page. Those books… well, they saved me. Back when I was a kid they didn’t know about dyslexia. While it is to a mild degree, I was still classified as a “poor” student because of my very slow reading. Then my mom came home from one of her weekend flea market runs with a couple of the original Nancy Drew books (from 1932-ish!).Give a child something they find a real interest in and watch them fly! I still have my entire collection of Nancy Drew books. What wonderful seeds you sow MJ!

  4. Growing up in a small southern town, it was mostly the bookmobile (as I have mentioned before in previous related posts). We also had a small library in a converted church with wonderful stained glass windows. I was so disappointed to realize later in life that all libraries don’t have stained glass windows.
    My new town has a teeny tiny library that would probably fit into my kitchen but the people working there are so nice and helpful .I was there the other day and the books were so squeezed tight on the shelf it was all I could do to get the latest Susan Wittig Albert mystery off the shelf.
    OOh and this week was the library book sale! Held at a nearby church, alas no stained glass windows. I went twice and loaded up on the popular mysteries and novels on Wed. and then came back on the last day when it was all the books you could put in a big grocery bag ( the old fashioned ones with handles). I got about 20 pristine garden related books, including a huge English coffee table book .Now I have most of my Christmas gifts and then some. I have a neighbor just learning to garden and I got a whole slew of step by step beginner gardening books for her.
    yes ,I ADORE libraries.

    • Cindi says:

      Oh my gosh, how I would love to live there. If I was in your town, we would both have a reputation for walking away with the most bags of books. I love it. 🙂

  5. Amy Cloud Chambers says:

    I love the story of how kids discover the magical library! My granddaughter especially likes it when we sit together at the “tiny tables” (her words) and look at books. I’m a huge L.M. Montgomery fan. Right now I’m reading the Emily if New Moon” series.

  6. Karlyne says:

    I feel so desperately sorry for kids who’ve not had library cards. Libraries should be one of the best memories of childhood, and so hooray for you, MBA Jane!

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