Physical books and newspapers may be rapidly going out of style, but the library is here to stay. That is good news for parents in so many ways. Libraries are essentially, the perfect community resource or for the wealthy, a great addition to a home. Luckily for parents and everyone in the community, libraries in general have done a fantastic job of adapting to change and remaining relevant. Here is why.

What to learn from libraries:

  • House of Humanities: Not only do libraries have books and other media to teach you about humanities, they also bring humanities to you! Libraries often have poetry readings, art exhibits, and other live examples of human creativity and expression.
  • How to treat things: By teaching children the ways of the library, you are also teaching them responsibility. In order to use the library properly ( and keep it a free resource) you must return things on time, not damage them, and return them as they were taken. All great lessons to teach kids.
  • A lesson in sharing: Kids are familiar with the concept of if two people both want the toy at the same time to take turns. The library is essentially no different. You can use the “toy” for a certain amount of time, renew it if nobody wants to use it, but must give it up when it is someone else’s turn.
  • Learn about different types of people: The library does not discriminate. They will help anyone with the need to be entertained or educated, as long as you have an account in good standing. Kids can learn about every type of person at the library.
  • How to be a better student: Libraries can be a great place to meet with groups of people to study or discuss new ideas. Just by being around books constantly kids will have more of a desire to know what is between the covers. By taking advantage of all the programs the library has to offer, you are only setting your young one up for success.

What libraries have to offer:

  • Entertainment and education for all ages
  • Discount tickets to museums and community events
  • Free rentals of books, movies, music, and other tech.
  • Storytelling for kids. Often done by librarians, local volunteers, or special guests. Can also be a great way to meet people.
  • Kids activities: Many libraries offer activities such as arts and crafts, reading exercises, writing classes, and more.
  • Networking: Talk to other parents while at story time or during a normal visit to your library. Everyone coming to the library has a desire to learn or bette themselves in some way, the people you meet there can be priceless additions to your network.

Tips

  • Make sure they are well rested: This will help them to not be cranky and make it easier for them to pay attention.
  • Feed  Them: We all know how kids and adults alike get hangry. By making sure they eat before the library, you can hope to avoid any hangry episodes.
  • Hand Sanitizer: The library is a wonderful resource that gives access to technology and information to those who may otherwise not have the opportunity. Unfortunately, the more members that use the library also means more germs. By using hand sanitizer and washing hands you can minimize the risk of getting a cold along with your new book. You may also want to wipe down your books and media upon taking them home to be extra safe.
  • Library Bag: At our house we have a designated red bag that we store our library items we are ready to return. We keep it by the back door so it is easy to grab when heading out. Having a designated bag will not only help keep you from misplacing library items as well as make it easy to haul them to and from the library. You can even use it to keep track of items while picking out new things to rent.
  • Take advantage of Text Alerts: My library offers email and text alerts and they have saved me a small fortune in late fees. I get a text the day before something is due, giving me the alert to either to renew it or get it on its way back to the library.

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