When was the last time you visited your public library? If you already have a hefty collection of books in your own personal library, you may not see a need to make a trip to the library in your community. However, your local library may have a plethora of resources for you and your child that you are unaware of. In this post we will explore just a few of the hidden gems you can find in your local library.
Aahh…story time. Many of us have fond memories of circling up on the carpet and listening intently as the librarian read to us while she held the book open so we could see the pictures. How did she read upside down like that? This time honored tradition is still alive and well at most libraries across the country. Many even offer a related activity or craft afterwards. There is something magical about listening to a story read aloud with a group of our peers. When we give our little ones the opportunity to share a story together, it helps to instill a love of reading in them. Most libraries have at least one scheduled story time available each week. Check your local library’s calendar and see when your little one can participate.
While story time is an oldie but goodie, our kids have access to something we never did as young library patrons: a digital library! Many local libraries have links on their web sites where you can check out free downloadable books. Audio, EPub, and Kindle books are a few of the options that are typically available through a digital library. Is your child obsessed with electronics? Why not offer him a book to read on your e-reader? Do you have a long trip coming up? How about downloading some audio books onto an MP3 player to help your youngster pass the time? And remember…there are several great adult titles available as well. So while you’re at it, download a couple for yourself. You can check your local library’s policy on how many digital books can be checked out at a time and when they expire.
Gone are the days of going to the bookshelf and choosing which encyclopedia you need for a report. A simple look on your library’s home page will most likely reveal a link to a world of knowledge! You will probably find access to your state’s virtual library. Virtual libraries give patrons access to encyclopedias, periodicals, and many other child-friendly resources. For instance, I found a link to the Britannica School Edition for elementary school kids via my local library’s website. So if your kiddo is interested in penguins, the two of you can poke around and find lots of cool (pardon the pun) facts from a kid friendly source!
If your child is struggling with a subject and needs a little extra help, talk to your librarian about available tutoring options. Many libraries offer free after-school tutoring on certain days of the week. If drop in tutoring is not an option, many libraries offer online tools that match students to live online tutors. So whether sitting down across the table or via computer screen, your library may be able to provide the homework help your student needs!
Is your public library an overlooked resource in your community? Today is a great day to explore the many benefits of your own local library! What do you think? We would love to hear about some of the resources/events you take advantage of at your public library.