As the Trump administration limits funding for the U.S. Postal Service, a library in New York is aiming to bolster kids' knowledge about the critical institution.

By Maressa Brown
September 04, 2020
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With a pandemic raging and a crucial presidential election on the horizon, the U.S. Postal Service is facing slowdowns and cost-cutting under the Trump administration. From delayed ballots to prescriptions, the downstream effects are deeply troubling, according to the agency’s Office of Inspector General. And to the Brooklyn Public Library, it's a case for helping both kids and adults understand just how important the government institution is. The library recently released a reading list meant to offer readers insight into the current mail crisis.

The list includes 44 titles for all ages, and in each book, letters and mail play a key role, according to the library's website. Others focus on the history of the postal service.

A few examples included on the list: Neither Snow nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service by Devin Leonard, The Jolly Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, and Katie Woo's Neighborhood: Friends in the Mail by Fran Manushkin.

Katie Groenke, a spokeswoman for the library told Brooklyn Paper: "Brooklyn Public Library's librarians have created comprehensive book lists to explain the history and importance of the post office and emphasize why funding the service is critical. These lists serve as a critical tool for the community to learn about the history of the post office, and hopefully spurs Brooklynites to protect this institution."

Emma Carbone, who works at the library’s central branch and initiated curation of the list, added that the current administration's attempts to quash the postal service drove her to get involved. "I had been aware of what was happening, and then with this problem ongoing, it seemed like an important time to point out these books," she shared. "I started the list and then I was able to ask my colleagues for suggestions. Some colleagues recommended picture books that I didn’t know we had in our own collection or featured the post office."

She noted that one of her favorites on the list is Because Amelia Smiled, a picture book by David Ezra Stein about a girl whose smile inspires her neighbor to send cookies to her grandson in Mexico, leading to a flood of good deeds around the world. 

With hope, BPL's list will inspire readers all over the country to brush up on their knowledge and appreciation of the postal service. And if you're looking for even more titles, an additional postal service-themed reading list can be found on ElectricLiterature.com.

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