If you know Dr. Seuss you know Ned McDodd is the Mayor of Whoville, and Gerald McGrew from If I Ran the Zoo, but what about Betty MacLeod? Betty is very popular in the Children’s Rooms of all Springfield City Libraries!
Betty grew up in Springfield and attended Classical High School, just like Theodore Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. And like the famous children’s book author she spent many of her afternoons in the Central Library. As an adult, Betty continued to live and work in Springfield. She started in the mental health field in the late 1970s and 1980s before changing focus to assist families with adoptions. For the last years of her career, she worked in Early Intervention with Thom (now CHD).
From out of Nowhere, Betty called and asked if the Library would accept the donation of a Dr. Seuss quilt and book set, thinking it would be nice if we raffled it off for Dr. Seuss’s birthday. We were stunned! We have received donations of crayons, LEGOs, and of course, books, but never something handmade.
After a bit of thinking, the Children’s librarians realized that they wanted to make sure that lots of children citywide had the opportunity to receive a raffle ticket, so instead of raffling the quilt on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2 became the kickoff for a month-long celebration of Dr. Seuss’ books! Any child who reads a Dr. Seuss book in any Springfield City Library location or who checks out a Dr. Seuss book during the month of March earns a raffle ticket for a chance to win the quilt and book set.
Karen at the Mason Square Branch reports that children actually stand in line for the chance to read her Green Eggs and Ham. “It’s their favorite book!” she reports.
When asked what inspired her to create a Dr. Seuss quilt, with the intention to donate it to the Springfield City Library, Betty replied that the project combined her two loves: reading and quilting. She loved The Cat in the Hat as a child and continues to love the bright colors of Dr. Seuss–and, of course, Dr. Seuss is a natural fit with Springfield, being a native himself! She felt that creating and donating the quilt was the perfect way to give back to a place that had given her so much. Betty sets a wonderful example for us all.
This past Saturday, March 7, the Children’s Room celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday with an extra-special storytime with Dr. Seuss books, a visit from The Cat in the Hat, and Betty, who came along to talk to the families about her quilt and to show them how a sewing machine worked. Children were able to help sew a four-patch quilt square of their very own, using Dr. Seuss fabric! Later they used tissue paper to create collage wigs of blue hair and decorated breastplates announcing that they were “Thing 1” or “Thing 2.” Children read Dr. Seuss books and filled out raffle tickets. They showed off the Lorax projects they made at the Museum. Photo opportunities abounded, and every phone with a camera feature got a workout!
Children ages 12 and under have the opportunity to enter the raffle through March 31. Come in to any Springfield City Library location and read yourself or someone you love a Dr. Seuss book, or take one home if you’d like. Be sure to fill out your raffle ticket on your way out!
The winner’s name will be drawn on April 6, 2015 (You don’t have to be present to win.) and will receive a lap-sized Dr. Seuss quilt, three Dr. Seuss books, and a stuffed Cat in the Hat! Thank you Betty MacLeod!