Librarian entertains young readersPublished 9:06am Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Master storyteller, Tom Bush, former children’s librarian with the Southwest Georgia Regional Library System, returned to the Decatur County-Gilbert H. Gragg Library on Tuesday morning to entertain the children at the final session of the summer reading program series.
Using his famous collection of hand puppets, Bush kept the children mesmerized with his tales of “Why Alligators Hate Dogs,” “Baby Boo and the Ghost of Mable Gables,” and the “Bear in the Blackberry Patch,” and performed several scary antics with his giant black spider. Of course he also did his memorable impression of a singing chicken, which he employed to sing, “Happy Birthday” to one of the mothers, Lisa Logue.
Bush grew up in Jacksonville, Fla. After graduating from Florida State University in 1967, he joined the U.S. Army and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1968. He served with the infantry in Vietnam, where he earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal for Valor with Oak Leaf Cluster.
He retired from the Army with the rank of a lieutenant colonel with 27 years of service and returned to FSU, where he earned his Master’s of Library Science in 1995.
He was selected to be the children’s librarian in 1995 and served for 13 years. Today, he is partially retired, but is still a part-time storyteller, spreading joy with his warm and witty stories, which he acts out using his many voices.
Tuesday’s program was the celebration of the final session of the local program, a national project to encourage reading of students when school is out for the summer.
Students were recognized for their projects. Carole Albyn, current youth director, estimated that there were more than 200 kids who read, or had read to them, more than 10,000 books over the summer. Each child kept a record of their books read and received prizes.