Do you remember the card catalogues they used to use in libraries? Now you can buy those cabinets as antiques on eBay. Most libraries switched over to computer based systems in the early 1990’s. In some ways, though, the card catalogue was more fun. You had to invest more time in finding each title and there was a certain sense of exploration involved. And preschoolers were too short to use it.
Today, kids in daycare can operate (or at least understand) all types of online inventory systems, for better or worse. Most of them require you to part with money somehow. Amazon, Netflix, Google Play…… but not the library. Somehow, they still manage to keep it free!
In the spirit of National Library Week, we’d like to give a big “thank you” to all the public librarians and administrators out there for staying free (we know there are budget cuts) but also for all the fun “add ons” they offer children and their parents who come in for books and leave with memories.
Here are four reasons why you should take your kids to the library.
1. Story time. Many libraries organize children’s book readings conducted by librarians (usually with a dramatic flourish or two). It’s a great outing for youngsters in and of itself not to mention exposing them to different types of stories and literary characters.
2. A library card. It may be the first “official” card that your preschooler gets with his or her name on it. Using it is a great way to teach them about the responsibilities of borrowing and returning books. Plus they just get to feel grown up.
3. All types of media. Public libraries have done a great job of keeping up with the times when it comes to different available media formats. Print books, ebooks, audio books, magazines, videos… your library probably has a sampling of everything. Children (like adults) have different learning styles and sampling various options in one place is a great way for them to experiment with what works for them.
4. Print books. All the new types of media are also causing print books to gradually lose popularity. They take up space and are not as portable as their new cousins, ebooks. For sure you have some books at home but do you have as many as when you were growing up? Probably not. In many ways it is a pity because nothing says “read me” to a youngster like a stack of print books. Ebooks just aren’t the same. That’s where libraries come in. They’re the biggest collection of print books in town and you don’t have to store them at home! (Not permanently, anyway.)
And finally here’s a tip just for this week: check your local library’s website and see if they are organizing something special for National Library Week. We bet they are!