Monday, June 10, 2013

Library Love

As I was driving home from the library tonight, I knew I had to write a post proclaiming my love for libraries. I've always loved the library. When I got hired at the library, that love grew. When my son started to love the library, it made me love them even more.

If you're not a frequent visiter to your local library, I implore you to visit and see what they have to offer. You might just be surprised at the value of library use. The obvious benefit is not having to pay for every book or magazine you want to read, every DVD you want to watch, or every CD you want to listen to. You might say that you have an e-reader or an iPad now and don't need your library. Guess what? Most libraries allow you to download eBooks or eAudiobooks. My local library is even offering a way to download magazines now. We've offered free music downloads for a long time as well. Some libraries even offer passes to local museums or state parks. We were able to get into two state parks on our last road trip for free.

If you have children, the library is even more valuable and important. It's important to have a personal library of children's books, but the library allows you to have variety. Currently, my son is obsessed with the Scaredy Squirrel series by Melanie Watts and the Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems. There is no way I could afford them all when I know he'll have a new favorite within a few months.

Generally, libraries have amazing programming for kids- story times, puppet shows, movie nights, etc. My library alone is having multiple science activities throughout the month of June, preschool fitness, a program called Bedtime Math, a magic show, and a juggling event.

Most libraries have summer reading programs where adults and children can earn prizes for reading or even have fines waived for reading. If we've met the criteria at the end of the summer, we both get to pick out a free book (or a fine waiver) and we get a free pass to our local natural history museum.

And as for what specifically inspired my post tonight, my son was able to check out a bird backpack for a week. The pack comes with a book about wildlife in your own backyard, two bird field guides, a bird call identifier, a pair of binoculars, and a list of local hikes. How freaking awesome is that!

If you haven't been to your local library lately, please check it out and see what it has to offer you. If you already go, let me know what you love about your local library.

"A library is not a luxury, it is a necessity."
-Henry Ward Beecher


Miri said...

Megan, this is amazing! I've lived near some pretty great libraries, but I'm so jealous of yours right now - the museum passes and bird backpack especially. What an awesome service for kids! (And by kids I mean... I would totally check out that backpack for myself.)

The Orem library was doing a lot of science things for the summer, too. They also had an enormous tipi set up in the children's area, which the kids were always thrilled about when they learned they were specifically allowed to play in it. Orem does a lot of community activities, with authors, musicians, dancers, storytellers, puppeteers, and other groups performing on a regular basis.

My library in Texas has a library dog - she's trained to sit with the little kids while they read to her, which really helps them gain confidence in their reading. And in the teen room, they have laptops and board games only teens are allowed to use, plus an X-Box and Wii for them to play.

I read a book a couple years ago called Reading with the Stars that was a collection of interviews with celebrities about how books and libraries have affected their lives. It was really interesting, and it totally debunks that silly rumor that libraries are becoming obsolete. So much amazing stuff goes on at libraries that people don't know about!

Miri said...

Holy novel... I could've written my own post with that comment! :)

Lis said...

We love libraries too, always have, always will!

Brandee Evarts said...

We love our library! Storytime, reading programs, checking out movies, we love it all!

Cara said...

This is awesome! It made me think of this tumblr, which I think you might enjoy:
Yahoo for libraries!