Bibliophile Badging Merit Badge, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,504 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,886 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

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

For this week’s Each Other/Bibliophile Badging Beginner Level Merit Badge, I brought along my BFF, Midge, and we sauntered off to the library. Being the mom of triplets, Midge doesn’t get out much, and she hasn’t read a book without pictures and rhymes in like, five years, so I figured I’d share the love of this badge.

We both had library cards already, which was Step 1, but since Midge couldn’t find hers and mine needed an address update, we went to the front desk first. I was a little skeered the librarian lady would take a peek at my overdue fines and screech like a cat on a hot tin roof, but she seemed nonplussed. Of course, it helped that I paid down the balance and also brought her a double mocha with whip.

It’s important to keep the librarians fed and well-hydrated, don’t you know. They run the world.

Steacie Science and Engineering Library at York University by Raysonho via Wikimedia Commons

Anyway, the next part of earning our badge, Madge (er, I mean, Midge), was to check out the other things the library had to offer.

Get it? Check out the other things? (I slay myself.)

We availed ourselves of the handy-dandy free pamphlets the librarian had to offer, took snapshots of the extra-large bulletin board in the main room, and made sure to update our e-mail addresses so we wouldn’t miss a thing. In fact, our humble library offered so much free stuff, we planned out the next two months of our social calendar!

Midge found things for the kids to do:

  • A Lord of the Rings movie marathon, with popcorn and trivia
  • A book club for mystery lovers
  • A craft afternoon

I found several things of interest that I promptly put on my to-do list:

  • Read It Before You Watch It: a book club specializing in famous films that were novels first
  • How to Garden
  • A tour of my local cemetery, complete with historical guide
  • A 25-cent book sale

Midge found several things up her own alley:

  • Story-time for kindergarteners (moms get to browse the Adult Non-Fiction area nearby)
  • A class for journal lovers
  • A calligraphy course
  • A meet and greet with local authors

We were so excited about all our new interests, we totally forgot to check out any books! So after realizing our mistake, we went back the next day. Sometimes these badges take a while … good things come to those who wait, however.

The final part of earning our Beginner Level badge was to start our TBR pile.

For those of you book newbies, a TBR pile is a To Be Read stack. Some people have these all over their houses, some relegate them strictly to the nightstand, some keep them scribbled on a piece of paper or organized on a website like Goodreads, and others (like Yours Truly) sprinkle them willy-nilly throughout the house and car. You never know when the mood to read will strike, you know?

If you’re stuck on what to put on your TBR list, ask your friendly librarian. She will be pleased as punch to give you her recommendation (and a double mocha with whip will assure she doesn’t hold back the best of the best). Tell her what your favorite authors or genres are to date, and she’ll come up with something faster than you can say Dostoevsky. Which admittedly, might not be very fast because that guy’s name is hard to pronounce.

Still not convinced about the power of your library? Check out some of these quotes, and when you’re done, get thee to your library and get yourself a card …

“The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” ~ Albert Einstein.

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges.

“A library is the only single place you can go to learn something new, be comforted, terrified, thrilled, saddened, overjoyed, or excited all in one day. And for free.” ~ Amy Neftzger.

“Libraries represent the diversity and immensity of human thought, our collective knowledge laid out in rows of revealing inspiration.” ~ Manuel Lima.

“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” ~ Andrew Carnegie.

“Without the library, you have no civilization.” ~ Ray Bradbury.

“What is more important to a library than anything else — than everything else — is the fact that it exists.” ~ Archibald MacLeish.

“The library is like a candy store where everything is free.” ~ Jamie Ford.

“The idea of a library full of books, the books full of knowledge, fills me with fear and love and courage and endless wonder.” ~ Elizabeth McCracken.

“Libraries really are wonderful. They’re better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts.” ~ Jo Walton.

“There is no problem a library card can’t solve.” ~ Eleanor Brown.


  1. Barbara Criss says:

    Since I was a youngster I have loved to read. Libraries are so important and so much fun. I can stay for hours in one. Thanks to our two local libraries semi-annual book sales I now own several hundred books that I treasure. My TBR pile is huge. As the saying goes: “SO MANY BOOKS-SO LITTLE TIME’

  2. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    Love those library quotes, I copied and sent them to everyone I know.

    heres another of my favorites:
    ” If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need ” – Cicero-

  3. Krista says:

    I feel just like Midge! It was almost like you were describing me! When I first seen this badge, I was very drawn to it. I already have a library card that was updated about 6 months ago and my list of TBR books is already organized on my phone. Currently the list has 20 books! The only thing I have left is to check out what else my library offers. Some of these preschool activities sound wonderful. Hopefully my library does them and I can drag my neighbor along with her little daughter.

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