If you read one new book a week, you will read 52 new books every year to your child. You will improve their vocabulary and comprehension while creating experiences through the characters in the stories and the informational books. Sounds simple enough, but who can buy 52 books every year? That’s where the public library can be a great resource.
Online Library Catalog Access and Holds –
Almost every public library has online access to their catalog. You can call the library or talk to a librarian at the front desk and you will be given a PIN number to access your account online. You can check to see if they have certain books and even put a hold on books that you want. If the book you want is checked out, put a hold on it and they will put your name on it when it comes back to the library. They will pull the books you have on hold and have them waiting for you at the front desk. They will even call or email you when your books are ready to be checked out.
Book Request/Holds –
Did you know that the library can locate almost any book for you to check out. If you see a book review about a book that you really want to read with your kids, your library can get it for you. Anytime I have a specific book that I want, I go to the library’s online catalog and see if they have it at our local library. If they do, I put a hold on it and they will have it waiting for me when I go to the library. If they don’t have it, I can ask the librarian to request it from another library and they will contact me when it comes in.
You can access the library’s Ebooks from any internet connection with your library account and PIN number. They will have books for you and your kids that you can read on your electronic device. If you have any problems figuring out how to access them, call the librarian.
Books on CD –
Don’t forget to find the books on tape. They are great to check out for long trips. Our favorite was the Hank the Cowdog books. We listen to them in the car since we drive a lot. You could put them on when you don’t have time to read to your kiddos. They are a great alternative to a video.
Library Bag –
I kept a library bag. Everything that we checked out from the library stayed in that bag. We would take it in the house for the week. That was one way to keep up with the books and keep them from getting torn up. Library books were considered “special” and used at home.
Video Games –
You can check out games to use at home. Many libraries now have an area where the kids can play the games while they are at the library.
My Story –
My girls became comfortable in the public library as little kids. I didn’t want or have the money to spend on lots of extra books or videos, so we would drop by the library every week. We could easily spend 1-2 hours there. We would hang out in the children’s section. I would try to read a few books to the kids, but I let them have the time to explore the shelves and find what interested them. I would read my own books or bring paperwork that I needed to get done. I would tell them to pick 6 books each that they wanted to take home to read. Then we would go to the video/music section and I would let them each pick out a video or music CD to take home. I know it sounds like we spent a lot of time at the library. Some weeks we did. Other weeks were so filled with extra activities that I knew we couldn’t all go to the library. On busy weeks, I would run down there during my lunch hour or right after work before I got the kids and pick out books and videos for the week. It would be a surprise for the kids to see what was coming out of the library bag.
What’s your favorite thing to check out from the library?