The school my kids are going to this year doesn’t have a library. It’s a small charter school and the location they attend is brand new so they haven’t even begun building their library collection. Each teacher has their own classroom set of books but it doesn’t really give the kids much variety.
We’ve always been fond of the library but we never really had much reason to visit regularly until this year. Sure we’d go during the school year to look for special books for reports and such; but never on a regular basis. This year we’ve started a tradition and have been going every Tuesday after school. This is really the first year that I’ve seen my daughter have an interest in the library.
My son has his favorite sections of the library. He enjoys using the computer to look up his favorite authors and can navigate his way around a library like a pro. In our town, the kids participate in Battle of the Books each year. The kids are encouraged to read all 15 books in the Battle of the Books and compete against their classmates to see who can retain the most information about the books. They then move on to the county level competition and beyond. What I really love about Battle of the Books is that my son is introduced to well written books that he likely wouldn’t have selected for himself. I’ve been tempted to sit down and read a few of them myself – but I don’t have much time for reading these days.
This past two weeks he’s been drawn to the World War II section of the library since that’s what they are studying in class this month. He actually brought home a book about Hiroshima, WWII Airplanes, and the RMS Lusitania. He will chatter endlessly about the things he’s reading to the point that I feel like he’s trying to teach me about the topic.
My daughter has a different tactic for the library. She learned quickly that the library has movies to borrow for free! We’ve stopped spending a lot of money on new movies in the house so there are several Disney movies (my favorites) that we don’t own on DVD. Over the past month I’ve gotten to introduce her to The Little Mermaid, Mulan 2 (new to me), and Sleeping Beauty. I can’t wait to see which movie she picks out next week.
After she decides on a movie she wanders down the aisles looking for the perfect book. Although her idea of the perfect book is blindly stopping in an aisle and picking the first book she can find. There is no changing her mind either. This week we ended up with a book about anatomy, one on Halloween ghosts, and another one about pugs.
Finally, it’s off to the coloring center for her. She has to color one picture before we can leave with our books. We then make our way to check out and head home with our treasures.
What I love most about the library is sitting at the tiny toddler sized tables and watching the kids explore. I try not to play on my phone or get distracted with work and really pay attention to their adventure. I try to imagine myself at their age and remember how huge the library seems to them. The best part is that we get to come back again next week and do it all over again.
Do you visit your local library? Do you attend any special events at the library or just go and select books (or movies)? What age did you start taking your kids to the library?
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