You may ask yourself, “Why should I take my kids to the library?” Besides the fact that it feels like the “right” decision, sometimes it’s the last thing us moms want to do.
If I’m being honest, I have a love-hate relationship with the library. Growing up, I experienced great memories there between story-hour with my grandmother and later getting lost in books during the study hall hour. But then I grew up and had children who didn’t seem to understand that library books were not meant to be torn, lost, or (yes this has happened) eaten. For awhile, I would make the library a part of our weekly routine. But then when I was returning dismantled library books and paying massive fines, I took a library hiatus.
After moving back to my hometown and feeling nostalgic, I took a trip to the same library I went as a kid. I originally was feeling nervous about the disaster that may await me as soon as I check out my children’s chosen pile of books, but I decided that the pros of libraries outweigh the cons.
Here are a few reasons you should take your children to the library:
1. Encourages the importance of reading.
We do our best to read our children books at home, but for our children to take ownership and have the freedom to choose book topics, they will develop a love of learning. Surrounding yourself with readers will soon rub off on your kids.
2. A better variety than what you have at home.
I do my best to have a nice variety of books at home, but I can never predict exactly what my children will enjoy and can’t always afford every book that peaks their interest. Sometimes it’s princesses, other times it’s dinosaurs, and lately, it’s been Thomas The Train and Peppa Pig. When we walk into the library, my kids can make their requests and then explore the library to locate their “treasure” of a book.
3. Step outside of the box.
Sometimes my kids don’t even realize they are interested in a topic until it’s right under their nose. When they notice a book on the shelf that they may never have sought out before, they have the opportunity to check it out and see if they want to further dive into the subject matter. Sometimes they do and other times they don’t, but the library helps my kids step outside of the box and try new things!
4. Teaches responsibility.
My first response to seeing my kids damage precious library books was to run away and hide. “We are never going to the library again!” I believe was my exact words after finding pieces of a pop-up book hidden under my daughter’s pillow. But I decided to take a different approach and explain the expectations of responsibility that comes along with visiting the library. Any chance I have to teach responsibility is important. My children’s care for library books has improved each and every time!
5. Encourages community involvement.
The library often offers more than just books. Many have activities offered throughout the year that gives your kids a chance to get involved in their communities. Some are service opportunities while others bring everyone together. Either way, take a look at the programs your library offers and get involved!
Tell us in the comments what you love about your library!