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Read This Book: Summer Reading 2018

By May 24, 2018May 13th, 2021The Kerlan Blog

Summer Reading Part 1


National Geographic Pile

Three vertical piles of yellow-spined National Geographic Magazines.

As a public librarian, I felt no small amount of dread when I received a phone call offering a donation of a collection of National Geographic Magazines. The best I could do was make a few phone calls or emails to see if a school wanted them for their classrooms. Often boxes were just left on our doorstep in the cover of night.

No one wants to throw them away but on the open market most National Geographic editions are worth around twenty-five cents.

Actually the random copies with their glossy pages were great for maker spaces for collage and bead making.

Screenshot of a photo of multicolored paper beads


Paper Bead Making instructions.

Of course the first volume that was published is rare and of value to archives and special collections. If you have one of those, I would gladly accept the donation.


First volume of National Geographic Magazine published nine months after the founding of the Society in 1888


On January 27, 1888, the National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C., for “the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.”

The 33 men who originally met and formed the National Geographic Society were a diverse group of geographers, explorers, teachers, lawyers, cartographers, military officers and financiers. All shared an interest in scientific and geographical knowledge, as well as an opinion that in a time of discovery, invention, change and mass communication, Americans were becoming more curious about the world around them.

The Society used its revenues from the magazine to sponsor expeditions and research projects that furthered humanity’s understanding of natural phenomena. In this role, the National Geographic Society has been instrumental in making possible some of the great achievements in exploration and science.


This included sponsoring Amelia Earhart’s historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

Fast Forward to Today

For the latest edition of Read This Book, I highlighted National Geographic Kid.

Screenshot from Read This Book Summer Reading Video

A pioneer in color photography and documenting adventure, natural sciences, invention, culture, and geography it is no surprise that National Geographic is one of the leading publishers of high-interest books for children under the imprint National Geographic Kids. These titles are of consistently high quality, easy-to-find on the shelf with their branded signature yellow frame. The books’ clean layout and easy-to-read text gives kids the practice in comprehension and fluency that will stand them in good stead in September.

If I had one suggestion for great reading this summer it would be to explore these easily browsable titles.

Do you have a kid with a beaten up edition of Guinness Book of World Records?


Got a kid who can’t get enough of sharks?

And for the kids who are complaining “I’m bored”





Join the discussion One Comment

  • Liz Hawn says:

    Dear Ms. Von Drasek,

    Many years ago, as a volunteer, I helped put together displays for the Kerlan Collection when it was located on the main campus. I loved prowling around the collection with a friend deciding what to use to create an exhibition that would catch people’s attention and alert them to the amazing resource embedded in the University’s library system. After I stopped that activity, I am embarrassed to admit that I have only been back once for a medical school reception.

    In the past two years, I have moved to downtown Minneapolis and joined an organization called Mill City Commons or MCC which has been created as a member organization designed to provide programming in the downtown area which would one of interest to people 55 and older. We have programs on topics such as foreign affairs, civic issues, research undertakings at the University, and many more in addition to book discussion groups, exercise, meditation, and yoga groups and opportunities to volunteer in the community and to assist one another when help is needed.

    As a member of the Program Committee of Mill City Commons, it occurred to me that many of the members of MCC would enjoy a visit to the Kerlan Collection and to hear from you, or one of your assistants, about the collection. I am hoping to visit the collection soon, in any event, as I had rather forgotten about it and really enjoyed my time there.

    If you think a visitor the group might be possible, please call me at 612-379-0062 or e-mail me at the address below.

    Thanks for your attention. Liz Hawn

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