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Interactive exhibit asks: What books do you carry with you from childhood?

August 1, 2012

Universities promote the reading of research papers, in-depth articles and sophisticated books of all varieties. But often books that a person reads early in life make significant impacts, too. That's the idea behind Books You Carry with You, an exhibition at James Branch Cabell Library through September.   

On loan from and organized by the Richmond Public Library System and its Friends of the Library, the exhibition features some 50 Richmond leaders and their childhood book inspirations. People such as VCU President Rao, Rams Basketball Head Coach Shaka Smart, Richmond Schools Superintendent Yvonne Brandon, musician Jason Mraz and other interesting voices share the children's books that still inspire them.

Participants recall works including Shel Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends," Don Freeman's "Corduroy" and several titles by Dr. Seuss. Each poster offers a short essay about the book and how it has influenced its reader.   

The VCU Libraries show seeks participation and invites everyone to share their reflections on books from childhood and youth that made lasting impressions. 

How to participate in the exhibition and conversation

  • A dry board will be available for visitors to post titles of their favorites and note why they inspire them today.  
  • Use the Cabell Twitter address, @VCUcabell, and the hashtag #VCUreads to tweet their thoughts. 
  • Submit (anonymously or not) thoughts via this survey form. Library staff will post it to the board in the building. 
  • Comment on the Cabell Facebook page.   

Books You Carry with You will be on display during Library Fest on August 20, when some 1,000 new students will attend the annual VCU Libraries open house, and throughout September at James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park campus, 901 Park Ave. The traveling exhibition previously was on view at Main Library and at the Children's Museum of Richmond. VCU Libraries thanks the staff and Friends of the Richmond Public Library for organizing, creating, and sharing this exhibit with the VCU community. 

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VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-1111
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Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Box 980582
Richmond, VA 23298-0582
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