Miss A Columnist

Stephanie Graham is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. After she earned her degree in English-Writing at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she married her college sweetheart and settled down in Southwest Michigan. She is now blessed to stay home with her 14-month-old son Silas.

Teaching Your Kids To Love Your Local Library

There is so much to love about the library. From the activities to the librarians to being surrounded by thousands of wonderful books, it is a place for you and your kids to cherish, where you can relax, learn, and enjoy.

With the advent of the internet and iPhones where pretty much any information you need is accessible in your hand, purse, or home office, why go to the library? Why get your kids involved? By the time they’re teens and need resources for school, who knows what libraries will look like?

Libraries are still an incredible resource for information, and they offer some amazing childhood memories; things are simple, books have vivid pictures, and kids can spend long hours reading and having fun. Most libraries have great programs for just about every stage of development. Children are read to, make crafts, play games and eat snacks.

Photo Credit: mylpl.org

Parents benefit from this, too; those of us who stay at home much of the time get to be around other people and build friendships with other mommies. Before we leave, we can grab a book of our own to read after the kids have gone to bed (word to the wise, a quick home search on the library Web site can give you the call number so you don’t have to try browsing the shelves with your children in tow).

If you don’t know what your library offers, it’s only a phone call or click away. The librarian or Web page can tell you what activities they have for your family. However, if your library doesn’t offer many programs, there are still things you can do. Some people have created scavenger hunts based on books to find or on areas of the library the kids wouldn’t normally venture into. Here is something to get you started if you’d like to create your own. This example is for 6th through 8th graders, and this can be for younger children.

You could also have a DIY “Book-It” program using library books. Simply set a goal for each child, either an amount of pages or books for them to read (or be read to), set a date of completion, and decide on appropriate prizes for each child’s accomplishment.

Your kids can also show love for their library. Donations of money, volunteer time, and books are always appreciated. If yours has a book sale, you could get your kids together and search the house for books they are no longer interested in, and donate them for the library to sell.

Also, taking some money they’ve earned and buying a few dirt cheap books (we’re talking usually a dollar or less) once or twice a month from those same book sales is a great way to rebuild their collection while helping the library.

Sometimes the biggest support your library can have is your presence. Just being there for story times and other activities, checking out books, or settling in to read a magazine shows that libraries are, if not the quickest click-of-a-button way to get information, vital parts of our communities and our lives.

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