It is not just the books

Sometimes it\'s not just the selection of books that brings kids into the library. As this article from the Tampa Tribune explains, it may be the appearance of the library itself.\"But it wasn\'t the books that added the sparkle - it was the bright, welcoming lighting. And the shiny new shelves, the spotless circulation desk, the chairs with nary a pencil gouge nor wad of gum stuck underneath.\"

\"The kids couldn\'t figure it out.\"

``They kept wanting to know how I got the books so much brighter this year,\'\' said Marcia Paulson, media specialist at Mango Elementary. ``They thought somehow I\'d made them look newer.\'\'

\"In a building blitz unequaled in Hillsborough County, this year there are 23 new media centers - a k a school libraries.\"

\"The ding of a bell alerted a third-grade class at Mango that Neil Gibson, 9, was the first to check out a book on the media center\'s inaugural day last week.\"

``It looks waaaay better in here than in the old one,\'\' said Neil, clutching his copy of ``I Spy, Treasure Hunt.\'\' He also received a bookmark for being first.\"

\"Jillian Gempel, 8, liked the spaciousness of the reading area. ``I think there\'s a lot more room to walk around,\'\' she said. ``Last year, there were always people everywhere.\'\'

\"The schools chosen to receive the new buildings were those that had libraries in cramped, often dreary portable buildings, said Barbara Rooks, the district supervisor of elementary media centers.\"

``To go in one was like entering a dungeon,\'\' she said. ``They were small and the lighting was terrible.\'\'

\"Installed long ago, the portables were to be replaced when money became available.\"

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