Here’s a letter for you from the Kindergarteners!
Thank you for sending a letter to us. We read your letter. We read Cat in the Hat, The Little Engine, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
We would play hopscotch, bingo, play dough, make over, and silent bean bag. (in response to my question earlier asking what they would play if they encountered a child who did not speak their language)
Thank you for making us happy.
Mrs. Austin’s Class
P.S. Can you visit us?
Greetings from Kreuzberg, where I am staying in a lovely apartment with a lovely bed and a shower and friends and a baby named Sophia Berlin whose smile illuminates every moment. I made it! 140km on Sunday. It was possibly the best day. Today was the final day of Cycling for Libraries, and we all biked together with hundreds of Berliners in a library demonstration through the city, ending at the 100th annual german library conference. Thank you dear reader for your support. Godspeed.
Here are some pics taken over the last couple of days. Our 90km cycle ride today ended at a bookmobile in a forest by a lake. The mayor greeted us and tonight we are all sleeping in the circus tent. The chef made us wonderful crepes and we are about to watch the footage for the cycling for libraries documentary on a makeshift outdoor screen. You can see some of the videos here. The next two days will be lots and lots of riding, so wish me luck. Thank you Dear Reader!!!!!!!
This morning my body asked me “why Katie why.”
Yesterday we crossed the border on bikes and today I will go on a tour of a stasi jail/library. When we arrived we were greeted by the Rockstock mayor and a police escort! Most of us stayed awake for the great library presentations at the University and then we closed the place down with a dance party. I think the Russians ruled the dance floor; everyone had a blast.
The organizers set up a circus tent and all of the librarians engaged in an extremely serious big top strategizing until midnight, after cycling all day. This is a dedicated group. Today we had a fantastic skype meeting with Buffy Hamilton and talked about participatory librarianship and art as knowledge production and knowledge production as art.
I recently learned that many cyclists share the understanding that day three is the toughest of any long journey. I found that to be true. I was also promised that day four is pure euphoria. I have also found that to be true.
The weather over the past two days has been sunny and glorious, and each day we are given topical themes at breakfast that we discuss along the ride. Today our job was to share ideas about future libraries: what they might look like and act like, what would be ideal, and what might be possible. The diversity and innovation of the group mirrored the rich landscape and the euphoric physicality of the tour, resulting in an incredibly productive think tank that meandered through cow pastures and around wind turbines. I am so excited to return to the Whittier Library and share what I have learned.
Sorry about the lag in posting, I have not had internet access for a few days. As I ride I have been thinking a lot about the children in Mrs. Austin’s kindergarten class who are reading this blog, and I wish they were in a side car attached to my bike. I guess this blog is like a virtual side car. Hi children! What are you reading? I came up with a couple of questions for you to think about. When I was in Switzerland I met a child who didn’t speak a word of English and we figured out fun games to play together using grass, chalk, and our voices. What games would you play if you met a child who didn’t speak your language? More soon; time to hop on the bike……
We arrived at the school at 10pm after a full day of cycling and visiting libraries along the way. Yes it rained, yes we rode into massive wind, and yes I was the first one to fall off my bike! Ha ha. This ride is one of the best things I have ever done. We rode through beautiful fields, waved at little lambs, ate well, and now everybody’s asleep but me. More tomorrow. xo
Party at the Royal Library tonight; and we leave tomorrow morning!