The Importance of the Public Library and Children’s Library Programs
Reading has a big place in my home. I scatter books around the house like trophies of accomplishments and snapshots of milestones in my life. I always have a book in my purse and one by the bed and I wouldn’t even want to begin to count the number of books my daughter has. We love to read. This love for reading has been enriched in a lot of ways. I come from a home of readers, talk about books with friends and make it clear to my daughter that I value them. She knows that if she needs a minute to herself in the hustle and bustle of a busy day, she can find her way to her bookshelf to flip through pages of a book. She knows she will get my full attention if she comes over to me with a request for being read to, and we make an adventure of a weekly trip to our library.
The Value of Public Library Programs for Moms
From an early age my daughter and I would spend time at our local library. It was perfect for me as a new mother, nervous to take a small baby out in public. I could go to programs at the library to be surrounded by other moms, or sit in a corner and just watch it all happen. There were toys for my Little Bee and it was a break from the walls of my own house (which I very much needed in those early days). Now my daughter takes great pride in having her own library card, in checking out her own books, of understanding that they are hers to borrow for a little while, and then we give them back so another child can enjoy them. This morning, Little Bee and I went to the library in my parent’s town. We made plans with an amazing fellow momma I went to elementary school with; that friend who hugs your heart. It was perfection. Her daughter, another little friend and Little Bee joined the group of children sitting cross-legged on the floor for and it was time passing in the snap of a finger. Stories, songs, dancing, and even a couple of bunnies entertained us and allowed me some much needed time with a dear friend. Libraries are an amazing place and will forever be a part of our routine.
19 Reasons to Take Part in Your Local Library
- Enrich a love of reading in your children
- Connect with your mom friends and their kids. Social time for mom, social time for littles
- Meet new people – there are more than just fellow mommas heading to the library. It’s great to connect to new people
- Attend the amazing programs they offer. Hello? Free entertainment. It’s amazing!!
- Sit in a quiet corner and read to your child in a new surrounding. Reading has been proven to enhance language, brain development, connection with the person reading to you, and of course love of reading – with book after book
- Sit in a quiet corner while your child plays nearby. I have to say I treasure these little moments. In our house I feel obligated to be busy and tick items off the to-do list. Sitting back at the library watching my daughter play with the puppets, I actually have a moment to myself to think, or… not think
- More than books. There is so much you can access from your local library. Snowshoes. Movies. Magazines. It’s incredible. You can dabble in a lot of interesting areas that would otherwise would be expensive to “test out” with a toddler who may or may not want to take part. I recently checked out a pool pass to a local pool and thank goodness I did because the first pool day, we stayed for 15 minutes and I wouldn’t have been excited about paying the drop in fee for a short pool stay.
- Libraries are no longer just a quiet place. There are areas where you can find this, but children don’t need to be hushed. Snacks can be eaten (meaning stays can be extended) and best of all, roaring laughter can be heard.
- Buying books is expensive and not all are a hit. Library books are free! It’s a great way to dive into a new topic or theme that saves us the price tag of a new book.
- Learning about the people in your community. So many people go to the library and it’s a wonderful place to introduce your little one to the many people who make up your neighbourhood
- Safe technology education. We are not a big technology house but there are often child friendly computers or tablets that increase technological literacy with educational games.
- Craft projects. Mess in someone else’s house? Yes, please!
- Any time can be library time. You can come and go as you like. We love to take part in organized programming but also enjoy the quieter moments when we essentially have the children’s section to ourselves
- Introduce children to the Arts. Libraries often display local art or local projects which can be a first experience for your child
- Online resources – you don’t have to walk into the doors of the library to get the benefit. There are so many ebooks, online games and other resources on your libraries website
- Becomes a beautiful dramatic play transition at home. My daughter and her friends love to play library at our home . Click below for a free printable library card that your child can use to make their own pretend library.
- Teaching responsibility in caring for a book that is to be shared with the community
- Encourages you as a parent to take part in community programs that you learn about from the library and greater community
- Reinvigorates your own love of reading!