“I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card.” – Laura Bush

“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” – Albert Einstein

“Bad libraries build collections, good libraries build services, great libraries build communities.” –R. David Lankes

We go to the library on a regular basis and you should too.
Let me share with you why you should go to the library and some tips for making your trip smoother.

Why You Should Go To the Library

The library is a wonderful resource. Let me share with you some of our favorite reasons for going to the library.

Books
Of course, there is the obvious reason for going to the library, books. We check out so many books each month. It is not uncommon for me to have 50 books checked out each month. We love reading and the library allows us to read so many more books than we could ever afford to buy.
Storytime

Storytime at the library is not some little old lady reading a book to a group of kids. At my library, storytime looks very similar to circle time in a preschool setting.

Storytime at our library usually includes:

  • singing and dancing
  • reading a book
  • telling an oral story using puppets or felt boards
  • some interactive games
  • a craft

This is an awesome way to start easing your Lil’ into some structured learning especially when another adult is in charge. Plus these are free, so take advantage of this free opportunity to help your Lil’ grow.

Puzzles and Toys
At most libraries, the children’s section has toys. Some libraries are better than others, but our library has tons of educational toys. And even though we have about half of these toys at home already, my kids are 10 times more interested in them when they’re at the library. I love trips to the library because it means my kids are going to play fairly independently for about 20 to 30 minutes with educational toys that I didn’t have to buy.
Here are some toys you can expect to find in the children’s library
  • educational toys from Lakeshore learning
  • puzzles – chunky block puzzles and jigsaw
  • manipulatives
  • a puppet center & puppets
  • a magnet board/ white board
  • iPad & computers

Tips to Make Your Trip Smoother

If trips to the library and then housing library books makes you nervous, try some of these tips to make your next trip a little less nerve-racking.

Request Books Online

So if your libraries like mine you can reserve books online at home. So we typically go to the library on Friday so on Tuesday Or Wednesday I’ll hop online to my library account and reserve a few books. It typically means that by Friday I can walk into the library, go to the reserve books section and grab the books that have my name on it. This makes my life so much easier because looking through the shelves of books to find books to take home and read requires me to not watch my children while they’re playing the library which obviously is not a good choice. So instead, I can reserve the books, let my kids play in the children center and when we’re done. I grab my books, check them out and leave.

Librarian Suggestions
If you’re not the type to plan a library trip out in advance you can still grab books easily. Most libraries put some books on display, grab some of those so you don’t have to look through the shelves to find certain books you can just grab the books that are on display. My libraries also put together little book bundles with about 4-5 books all on the same topic. I always check out these bundles to see if they’ve already selected bucks on a theme that were wanting to learn more about.
Book Bag
In our house, there is a red reusable bag that everybody knows is the library bag. That bag houses our library books and it’s the same bag that we use back-and-forth to take books to and from the library.
Having a dedicated library bag just allows us to stay a little more organized. It is where we put book after we finished reading them and are no longer interested in them and on library day I just grab it and head out the door with the bag knowing that we have the books that were ready to return.
Also, I think I’ve mentioned that I tend to check out about 20 bucks at a time so that bag is east sensual for me to get 20 bucks back to my car with my two children.
Dedicated Library Book Space

We keep our library books on a specific shelf in Rea’s room and we do not add our personal books to this shelf. This helps everyone remember which books are library books and which ones are ours. While Rea does have access to these books at any time, D (my 18-month-old) does not because I just don’t trust him yet with library books and when Rea was younger, I kept the library books on a higher shelf so that she could not reach them either. Regardless, having a dedicated library book space has helped us keep our library books in good condition and prevent us from losing a book.

Teacher Tip

I would love to know if you go to the library and how often. Do you have any other tips for when you go?