I was wandering around one of the nearby malls on Saturday. There were tons of kids everywhere. At first I thought there was some holiday I had forgotten about, but apparently teens spend Saturday night roaming around the mall.
During my wanderings, I noticed that the bookstore in the mall had closed down and was replaced with a Disney store where you can plan your Disney vacations. So this huge mall with thousands of kids wandering around it does not even have a book store.
I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be cool if every mall had a library in it. Since that is where the kids hang out, what a great chance to get them reading. The city could require all mall developers to provide a section of their mall for a small library in exchange for actually being allowed to build the mall and collect the revenue that malls generate.
It is very common around here for the large developers to be required to build a grade school or public park, etc. when they get the approval to build a new subdivision. So why not require libraries in the mall.
Just when I was starting to think I was really crazy, I read this article about why Finnish kids seem to be performing so well in school with nowhere near the crazy pressure and rules that we have in America. One of the things that I noticed is that they have libraries in their malls.
The article also has a ton of interesting information on the education system in Finland which you should go read. They talk about lack of dress codes, empowering teachers to teach the kids and encouraging parents to let the kids just learn instead of worrying about which Ivy League college they are planning on attending.