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5 Things You Should Know About Your Library

There’s something almost magical about heading to the library and checking out your own books as a child.  Getting a library card is one of the first times our little ones get to experience a sense of ownership.  That alone is reason enough to become a regular but there are some other great (and surprising) reasons too – here’s a list of 5 resources you might not be taking advantage of:
 
  1. Getting Ready for Baby Kits – When S was due to arrive I went looking for a few books to help C (then about 19 months old) understand what to expect. It turned out the library had an entire kit for just such an occasion. It was a large box containing 8-10 books, a DVD, a baby doll (for practicing) and even a binder with some guided lessons. It really helped get C excited about his new sister.
  2. eBooks for Late Night Feedings – Sometimes a good read is just what I need to stay awake during those wee hour feedings. But being a new parent doesn’t leave a lot of time for repeated trips to the library. Thankfully mine has a large selection of books I can download onto my iPad (or other electronic device).  No traveling required and if I finish a book mid-feeding, I can start another with just a few quick clicks.
  3. Baby Story Time – Before actually attending one of these sessions I thought it might be a bit silly – it’s not like my baby was going to follow along and I could always read to him at home, right?  What I failed to realize is that baby story time was as much for me as it was for C.  It was a great place to get a refresher on all the little songs to sing and games to play with baby.  Plus, it was a fantastic way to make friends with other new parents.
  4. Toddler and Preschool Story Time – Story time for this age is not just sitting on the floor and listening.  It involves songs, games, crafts, and sometimes even bubbles.  The sessions are also very age specific – which means age appropriate.  Our library offers separate story times for babies, young toddlers, toddlers, preschoolers, and whole families.  The one we currently attend even has a theme each week (like a letter or holiday) that all of the activities are based around.
  5. Kid Friendly Computer Stations - The kid section of our library has a whole bank of computers with durable kid keyboards and games especially for little ones. It’s a much better alternative to letting C play with my laptop and it’s a great destination spot on a rainy day.
Of course the library’s biggest perk is that it’s free! So dust off your library card and visit soon. And be sure to let me know if I missed anything.
 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Margaret January 4, 2011 at 8:02 am

I had no idea they had ‘Getting Ready for Baby’ Kits, how fantastic! Our library also does special events around holidays like Gingerbread House Decorating Workshops and sometimes they have Bed-time Storytime, where kids can go along in the jammies and have a mini hot chocolate (more like warm chocolate, for the little ones) with marshmallows and listen to some stories at night. The other thing I love are the kids books on CD. My toddler would listen to CDs and ‘read’ the books, turning the page when she heard the chime and it kept her busy during ‘quiet time’ while her little sister was asleep.

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Stacy January 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Thanks for the reminder, Steph! We used to regularly attend storytime, but haven’t been since Sienna was born. I think we’ll go check it out next week.

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Melanie January 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Good ideas Steph! Which library do you go too?

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com January 4, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Margaret,

I totally forgot about PJ story time, thanks for the reminder. We haven’t tried it yet but it’s been on my list for when C gets a little older.

The books on CD also sound like a great tool for when I’m trying to put S down for a nap and need C to play quietly for a few minutes.

Melanie,

My favorite story time in the Seattle Eastside area is at the Woodinville library. The librarian there is really great with the kids and they have lots of fun crafts and themes in the young toddler session.

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Mini Mocha January 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

Libraries are a fantastic free resource. In fact we are off to ours tomorrow to make Japanese hanging Koi fish. Something we haven’t done! I will try to get some good photos.

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Valerie January 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Hi there- Thanks for saying hi (at Why it Matters, Clark blog) Yes, great post! We are obsessed with our local library, they redid it a few years ago and it is FABULOUS, we are on our 3rd kit already and loving it!
Valerie

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