Reading is fundamental

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Good morning asset builders. This week, we need your help in raising the asset category of reading for pleasure.
Our most recent data point for this asset is that 32 percent of local students feel like they spend a certain amount of time reading or listening to books outside of school for pleasure.
One way I know we can increase this asset across the board is to give books as gifts. You can take it to the extreme by giving the book you enjoy the most.
Oprah interviewed comedian Jon Stewart on her show the other day. They talked about his most recent book, “A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race,” which she had already decided to give as gifts this holiday season. Give the gift of reading, has a nice ring to it, don’t you agree?
You can help build this asset and help our schools by purchasing books from school book fairs. I know this is viewed as mostly an elementary opportunity, but when possible, try to buy books to help local elementary schools.
You don’t even need to have a student that goes to the school. Often, the libraries offer some late afternoon or early evening hours that are open to the community.
Did you also know that these book fairs offer everything from pencils and posters to cookbooks and software? The age range and topic areas are endless and you can find great gifts for every occasion. If you don’t have a book fair coming soon to a school near you, call one of the LAPS librarians and see if they will make up a gift certificate for the next time one arrives.
I’ve recently stumbled on a Web site with information about libraries across New Mexico. The Web site, www.bondsforlibraries.org has astounding information and ways that regular old community members can help spread the message.
Here are some interesting facts from the Web site: Did you know that 25,400 people walk through the doors of a New Mexico library each day? Did you know that 6,480 of those people need the library for computer use and 31,165 books, movies, CDs and more are borrowed each day?
I really don’t get involved in politics because I find the multitude of negative ads stomach churning, but here’s one idea I can support:
On Nov. 2, Library Go Bond, Issue B is up for a vote and librarians far and wide are hoping you will come to their aid. This vote will benefit academic public, school and tribal libraries.
When it comes to politics, again on Oprah the other day, one of the guests said something along the political lines of, “If we keep pulling left and right, we’ll never move ahead.”
If we don’t get back to the basics, we won’t get anywhere. Let’s build those assets.

Bernadette Lauritzen is the Assets Coordinator for Los Alamos. The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce sponsor Assets In Action. You can receive weekly Assets by email, Facebook or via text by calling 661-4846 or visiting www.AssetsInAction.info