A new item is hitting the shelves at Arlington County libraries. Members can now borrow American Girl dolls. It’s a program that encourages reading, but also gives children a local history lesson.
“Already we have about a six-month waiting list,” says Diane Kresh, director of the Arlington County Public Library.
The program rolled out last week and allows anyone with a county library card to borrow one of eight dolls for a week. It was started in order to share the history of Arlington and the stories that will be created from one child to the next.
“Some dolls will probably come back with new hairstyles, new clothes,” says Kresh.
Sofia Moteleb, 7, has her eyes on Marie-Grace and Cecile.
“When I looked at the magazine they were the newest dolls so I really wanted to borrow them,” she says.
Her mother says word is spreading quickly in the community.
“We were at a local bakery and the table next to us had an 11-year-old girl who was talking about it as well,” says Melissa Morrison.
It’s also a hit among parents because it gives access to a popular but pricey toy at no cost.
“The dolls can be anywhere between $60 and $80 just for the dolls,” says Morrison.
The dolls come with a few extras. Ivy comes with her personal story and a journal so you can write about her new adventures, plus a historical guide that describes what it was like during her era in Arlington.
“My friends here, they live in San Francisco. They’re children of the seventies when we saw Title 9 and a whole bunch of other things, the environmental movement got started, so this card that they travel with reflects what was happening in this community in that time period,” says Kresh.
But before the kids get their history lesson on Arlington, they’re getting a valuable lesson on patience.
“Last we checked was earlier this week and she was number six, so any day now,” says Morrison.