There is a magical place full of wonder and adventure right in your very own town. Whether it is going on a bear hunt, sailing with Columbus across the ocean blue, or helping a young sleuth solve a whodunit, there are a myriad of wonders waiting to be discovered and it is all happening at your local library.
Libraries are a wonderful resource for children and adults alike, and the best thing about libraries? They are free and almost every town has one.
Writer Lilian Braun Jackson once said that a library card is the start of a lifelong adventure. I could not agree more. Getting your child his or her own library card is a great way to encourage a lifetime of reading and learning.
Most libraries allow children to obtain their own cards once they have reached school age, so usually around the age of 5 or 6, but some libraries allow children of any age to have a library card, even babies! Having their own card can make kids feel grown-up and can get them excited about visiting the library.
Here are a few things you can do to help ensure that your child gets the most out of their new library card:
Pick out books with your child.
Picking out books together is a fun activity for parent and child to do together, and it helps ensure that your child is picking out books appropriate for her age level and that coincide with your family values. Steer your child toward books that match her interests, which helps keeps reading fun.
Utilize the library computers.
Most libraries have computers set up for children which are preloaded with learning apps and games. Teach your child how to logon and what games to play for her age level. Allow her to play while you sit and read, it will give you both something to look forward to when coming to the library.
Participate in library events.
The main motivation of the library system is to encourage and foster a love of reading and learning as well as a sense of community. One way they do this is by hosting fun events and activities such as book readings, arts and crafts days, and chess tournaments. Signing your child up for some of these events and activities is a great way to encourage your child to be active in the community.
Let your child check out items from the media center.
Libraries offer much more than just books. They also have a media center with DVDs, magazines, and games that can be checked out with your library card. Allow your child to check out a movie for family movie night, or a children’s magazine that interests her. The media center can help keep the library interesting.
Having their own library card is a big deal to kids, but it is also a big responsibility. Be sure to teach children the importance of taking care of books and items they check out, as well as what is acceptable behavior while you are at the library.
Fostering a love of reading is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child, and the public library is a great resource to aid in that endeavor. Take the time to explore your local library and immerse your child in knowledge and learning. A library card really is the gift that keeps on giving. Happy reading!